The Qatar edition of the GPCA’s ‘Waste Free Environment’ cleanup drive to be held on 26 February at Al Wakra Beach.

Building on the tremendous success of the 2014 edition and on the strong response from the local community, a large number of Qatari entities have pledged their support to the third edition of the regional campaign Waste Free Environment (WFE), which is initiated by the Gulf Petrochemical and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

The pan-GCC campaign is designed to raise awareness among the public on the need to preserve the environment and reduce the irresponsible disposal of waste. It also aims to tackle the challenges associated with plastic litter. As such, on 26 February 2015, various cleanup events will take place in 18 locations in a total of 13 cities across the GCC as well as in Europe and India.

Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO), a founding member of the GPCA and the pioneer in petrochemical production in the Middle East, is once again the local liaison of the Waste Free Environment campaign in Qatar.

On the occasion, a major beach cleanup activity is scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 26 on a 3-kilometre stretch of Al Wakra Beach, from 9 am to 11:30 am.

Reaching out to the youth and encouraging them to adopt sustainable behaviours early on are important aspects of the campaign and essential for its success. In line with this, numerous schools have already confirmed their participation in the cleanup activity, and many other educational institutions are expected to take part in the drive as well.

The general public is also invited to join the Waste Free Environment campaign, to be part of the change and to express their commitment to the environment by cleaning up the coastline and collecting waste in Al Wakra Beach.

In addition, to inform, educate and inspire the youth to be the responsible citizens of the future, sustainability workshops, waste management lectures and green competitions will be organized on site as well as in universities, colleges and schools in Qatar.

Dr Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA, said:

As an industry involved with the production of plastic—a product that is often erroneously blamed for environmental problems—we feel it is essential to educate and engage with different groups about the persistent issues surrounding improper waste disposal.’

Education plays a crucial role in the campaign, which highlights the fact that the plastic litter in marine and desert environments is largely due to the irresponsible disposal of plastic waste combined with insufficient waste management and recycling infrastructure.

Dr Al Sadoun also explained:

 Plastic forms an integral part of daily life and is used in the automotive, aerospace and food packaging sectors, so the solution to waste is not cutting the production of this vital product but in the reuse and recycling of its many applications.’

Thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of many community partners and the commitment of numerous volunteers, the campaign is set to be a major success in Qatar.  Qatar Petroleum, Al Wakra Municipality, the Ministry of Environment – Green Qatar & Environmental Public Awareness Division, the Ministry of Interior – South Police, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the Friends of the Environment Centre, the Qatar Sport and Environment Committee, and Al Wakra Hospital are also engaging in the initiative and offering their valued assistance.

Kahramaa, Amwaj, ExxonMobil, Qatar University, Texas A&M University at Qatar, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, Education Above All and the Community College of Qatar have likewise offered their upmost support.

Apart from QAPCO, Mesaieed Industrial City’s other main downstream entities, such as Qatar Fertiliser Company (QAFCO), Qatar Fuel Additives Company (QAFAC), Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC), Qatar Plastic Products Company (QPPC), Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company (QIMC), and Qatofin Company Limited as well as Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat) are also looking forward to play a pivotal role in the cleanup drive.

Since the launch of the campaign in 2013 in the GCC, the WFE has grown in size, participation and collection over the years. The 2014 edition saw a record collection of 11 tons of waste by 5,512 participants from GPCA member companies, schools and local communities in nine GCC cities. Volunteers included students from 71 schools and universities and consisted of clean- up teams in beaches and waters as part of the day-long campaign.