Plastic monster raises awareness


By Muaz Shabandri

DUBAI – A walking plastic monster covered in plastic bags caught the attention of shoppers at Dubai Mall on Tuesday afternoon. Made out of 350 plastic bags, the monster represented the average amount of plastic used by a family in four months.

Lush, a hand-made cosmetic retailer, created the special costume out of plastic bags to grab the attention of shoppers who were also given eco-friendly bags. The over-use of plastic bags and their affect on desert ecosystems has prompted environmentalists to join hands with brands to support eco initiatives. Campaigning for a plastic-free living, David, a Dubai based environmentalist plans to take a road trip later this month.

“Plastic pollution is a chronic problem and we want to create awareness among people. Even recycling plastic requires a lot of energy,” says David Wernery, founder of the Plastic Not So Fantastic campaign.

While retail outlets and hypermarkets provide shoppers with an option of buying eco-friendly bags, the free availability of plastic bags has hampered efforts to cut down plastic usage in the UAE. Every year, 11.6 billion petroleum-based shopping bags are used in the UAE.

Non-biodegradable bags will be phased out by the end of this year, in line with the directives set out by the Ministry of Environment and Water. As part of the efforts to cut down plastic usage, Lush outlets across Dubai will collect plastic bags and send them to ‘Recycle for a Cause’ in an effort to protect the environment.