UAE schools do away with single-use plastics before 2024 ban
This week, The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai made a pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic by the end of the year.
We are excited to announce that we have made a pledge to become a single-use, plastic-free school by the end of 2023. This announcement was made during our annual Eco-Week, where our pupils from FS1 to Year 7 had the opportunity to engage in activities and learning experiences that promoted sustainability.
This pledge aligns with the UAE’s recent mission to ban single-use plastic bags across the Emirates by January 2024, and ban the importation, production, and trade of single-use plastic products from January 2026. To make our goal a reality, we have partnered with AVANI, a local sustainable packaging company, who will help us replace all of our plastic products with alternative bio-based solutions.
Sustainability is one of the core pillars of our school, and so we strive to lead by example and not just talk about the importance of global and social issues, but show our pupils how we can make positive change. This is the driving force behind our single-use plastic-free pledge and our partnership with AVANI.
Mrs. Clare Turnbull, our Principal, commented: “RGSGD is a forward-thinking school that is rooted in sustainability. Our eco-week has been designed to promote change in our pupil’s thoughts and behaviour about the environment and to educate them about local initiatives that support sustainability. We are a school that likes to lead by example and not just talk about the importance of global and social issues but show our pupils how we can make positive change. This is the driving force behind our single-use plastic-free pledge and our partnership with AVANI.”
During Eco-Week 2023 from January 9 to 13, we invited our pupils to take part in engaging assemblies with local eco organizations. Green Energy Solutions Waste Management educated our pupils on the topic of landfill and recycling, Earth Cubs App spoke about sustainability and the inspiration behind the design of the eco app, Trutex spoke to our pupils about our school uniform and recycling plastic, and our receptionist, who runs a local sustainable honey business, led a talk on sustainable honey.
We also had our Eco Ambassadors from Year 1 to Year 7 visit Sustainable City for a tour and a talk about its local initiatives, and our Year 7 Eco Ambassadors visited the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Centre at the Burj Al-Arab. Our pupils also made bug hotels, bird feeders, recycled games, art and eco-fashion.
Since we opened in Dubai in 2021, we have launched several sustainable initiatives in the school, such as having an Eco Ambassador for each year group and launching a hydroponics activity to give our pupils the chance to grow their own salad and herbs, with the produce now being used in our school lunches, canteen, and parent café. We also installed water filters around the school to reduce plastic water waste, recycling bins in all classrooms, and a VFD control to our water pumps to reduce energy consumption.
We are always seeking new ways to become a more sustainable building and next term, all of our pupils will be encouraged to plant trees in collaboration with Goumbook, to support the save the Gaff tree foundation. We will also host a recycled art exhibition at the end of 2023.
Our 40,000 sqm campus is designed with sustainability and pupil wellness in mind and we are motivated and driven by sustainability. We believe that by becoming a single-use, plastic-free school, we are shaping and preparing our pupils to become future-ready young people, and we are excited to see the positive impact this will have on our school community.
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