On January 1, Dubai’s two airports, Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC), banned single-use plastic food and drink packaging, straws, cutlery, and polythene bags from the airports’ more than 250 cafes, restaurants, and shops. “This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport. Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives,” Eugene Barry, EVP Commercial at Dubai Airports, told media outlet Gulf News. “Among the challenges faced, the biggest is sourcing alternatives for plastic bottles, one of the most frequently used and discarded pieces of single-use plastics. As we work to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics from our airports, we are increasing our recycling facilities in the customer spaces and a new partnership that will allow us to properly dispose of thousands of tons of single-use plastic each year.” As part of the initiative, airport vendor Costa Coffee committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100-percent renewable, plant-based “smart” cup along with a lid made entirely from wood and paper fiber. The vendor currently uses more than 2.6 million cups per year in Dubai’s airports alone. During the next 12 months, DXB and DWC plan to replace additional plastic products throughout the airports.

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