As part of the UAE’s ambitions to reduce plastics in its efforts to hit net-zero targets, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) announced that it would be regulating the trade of recycled plastic water bottles in line with top public health and food safety standards.
The new decision that aligns with the UAE’s commitment to preserving resources and supporting the shift to a circular economy was announced on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).
The decision stipulates that the recycling facility must provide documents proving its adoption of an effective quality system and good manufacturing practices for materials that contact food.
These include a report from an accredited lab in the UAE testifying that the recycled product has passed the safety test, a report indicating the compliance of the bottled water with health and safety requirements, including migration tests for packaging materials by the applicable technical regulations and regulations, and a risk assessment report for the quality and safety of recycled raw materials intended for use in bottling drinking water.
“The decision is in line with the ministry’s strategic objective of enhancing quality infrastructure and the contribution of the industrial sector to the national economy. It will help attract new investments by expanding the plastic recycling industry. This is projected to reduce carbon emissions, enhance the national in-country value by AED 80 – 300 million ($21 – $81 million) annually, and create between jobs,” H.E. Omar Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, said in a statement.
To ensure maximum engagement of all stakeholders, MoIAT involved representatives of the National Food Safety Committee and UAE Food and Beverage Manufacturers Group, food and recycling experts, and researchers were consulted to ensure the containers are safe to use as water bottles.
The decision allows the use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) produced at MoIAT-approved recycling facilities that have obtained a certificate of conformity as per the UAE Regulation for Control on Food Contact Material.