Sharjah, UAE (03 May 2021): Bee’ah, the Middle East’s award-winning sustainability pioneer, has joined forces with PepsiCo, one of the leading food and beverage companies, to support the company’s commitment to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% Aquafina plastic packaging produced in the UAE in 2021.
The pledge is in line with the UAE’s goal to divert 75% of total waste from the landfill and is part of PepsiCo’s ongoing goals to reduce, recycle and reinvent for a more sustainable food system. PepsiCo’s local bottling partner, Dubai Refreshment Company will support this ambitious goal.
As part of the partnership, Bee’ah will oversee the collection, transportation and recycling at their Material Recovery Facility (MRF) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics. Bee’ah’s MRF is one of the largest and top producers of plastic recyclables in the Middle East with an annual capacity of over 600,000 tonnes.
The mass collection project will utilize Bee’ah’s far-reaching network of recyclables collection systems in strategic locations, communities, malls and more across Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai, to improve waste segregation and collection. Additionally, to ensure traceability, Bee’ah will leverage digital data capturing, weighing system, and GPS monitoring to track and report the progress of PepsiCo’s recyclables.
HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, said: “As the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, Bee’ah is leading the charge for a circular economy and zero-waste targets in the UAE and wider region. This partnership with PepsiCo addresses plastic pollution through Bee’ah’s holistic approach to integrated waste management, and we are proud to support companies in meeting their environmental, social and governance targets, while increasing the UAE’s waste diversion away from landfills.”
Aamer Sheikh, President and General Manager at PepsiCo – Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, said: “We are proud to be partnering with Bee’ah to meet our sustainability goals and work towards a brighter and better tomorrow for us all. We believe that there is an opportunity to change how the world produces, distributes, consumes, and disposes of foods and beverages, in order to achieve scalable and economically viable solutions. Creating a world where plastics need never become waste requires a shift from a linear to a circular economy approach. This means increasing recycling rates, increasing recycled content in packaging, and increasing the recyclability of packaging, enabling us to reuse packaging material rather than treating it as waste. The UAE is working towards a sustainable environment and infrastructure, and we’re committed to playing our part in realizing this ambition through innovation, active partnerships and stakeholder engagement.”
To encourage consumers to join PepsiCo’s commitment for sustainability, Bee’ah will also leverage its community recycling incentivization programme – Bee’ah Rewards, which uses a blockchain-powered mobile app to track recyclers’ deposits of plastic bottles at any of Bee’ah’s collection points. The top Bee’ah Rewards recyclers stand a chance to win prizes every month, such as electronic gadgets, gift vouchers and more. Encouraging greater public participation in plastic recycling, Bee’ah will continue to raise awareness among UAE youth through Bee’ah School of Environment, an environmental education initiative which has reached over 250,000 students and 6,000 teachers in the UAE.
Globally, PepsiCo aims to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content across its beverage business by 2025. PepsiCo is also committed to designing 100% of packaging to be recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable; and increasing recycled content in its plastics packaging to 25% by 2025. PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation are investing to increase recycling globally, committing more than $65m since 2018.
Driving the UAE’s sustainability agenda, Bee’ah has achieved a 76 percent waste diversion rate for the Emirate of Sharjah – the highest in the Middle East – and this is projected to reach 100 percent upon completion of the UAE’s first waste-to-energy plant in Sharjah and one of the first in the region. Bee’ah’s state-of-the-art Waste Management Complex houses some of the region’s most advanced recycling and waste treatment facilities, in support of a circular economy.