UAE - French water management specialist Veolia said its regional subsidiary Repeet has signed an agreement with UAE-based sustainability pioneer Beeah and F&B conglomerate Agthia to set up a food-grade plastic recycling plant in Abu Dhabi with a total capacity of 12,000 tonnes per annum.

The MoU was signed in co-operation with the UAE's Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which lays the groundwork for the new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) facility.

Spread over a 40,000-sq-m area in Abu Dhabi, the new plant, at full operating capacity, is likely to generate 100 odd jobs in addition to helping cut 18,000 MT of CO2 emission annually.

In line with the UAE’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution and boost trade through the export of recycled materials, the plant will recycle PET, a plastic material that is used in food packaging, such as plastic water bottles.

"MoIAT has played an essential role to create a favorable environment for the development of circular economy projects in the UAE," remarked Pascal Grante, the CEO of Veolia Near & Middle East, after signing the MoU for the project's feasibility study with Beeah Group CEO Khaled Al Huraimel and Agthia Group CEO Alan Smith.

The signing ceremony was attended by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators.

"The PET recycling plant is a part of this momentum as it follows two years of fruitful cooperation with the UAE public sector. The project is now ready to welcome more partners to help take it to the next level. We are proud of being part of this exciting journey towards ecological transformation," stated Grante.

Following the signing, Al Huraimel said: “Through this agreement, we can now further support the UAE’s sustainability agenda and accelerate the circular economy. We are honoured to partner with MoIAT, Repeet and Veolia to tackle the important issue of plastic pollution and make a positive impact together on a larger scale."

This partnership comes in line with MoIAT’s recent ministerial decree regulating the trade of recycled plastic water bottles. The move aims to facilitate the manufacturing of water bottles using recycled plastic in line with top public health and food safety standards.

Smith pointed out that reducing waste to an absolute minimum, better managing the planet’s resources and designing all our products with a more sustainable future in mind is at the heart of Agthia's strategy for long-term growth.

"Our previous endeavours with Veolia have laid solid foundations and achieved good results in this regard and we believe that this new collaboration further demonstrates our long term commitment to initiatives that are for the better of the environment, the economy and our consumers," he added.

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