Of course we are excited about a personal challenge... However there are some greater motivations behind our swim. Please explore the link below and help to dramatically reduce single-use plastic consumption, which can be harmful for the waters in the UAE.
The Drop It initiative was launched in 2016 to unite individuals and the local business community in re-thinking their plastic consumption by switching to filtered tap water, making an immediate positive environmental impact by reducing plastic waste and carbon footprint. Today, Drop it counts 17 active members including Careem, Omnicom, Inked, Beco Capital, DP World, AIG and Accor Hotels. Find out more here.
Why launch a campaign like Drop it in the UAE? The UAE water consumption per capita is 82% more than the world average, and most of it is done out of plastic bottles. Constant exposure to plastic is known to have adverse effects on our health, because plastic releases toxins into the drinks they contain, especially when left to be exposed to the heat and sun. Moreover, only 20% of single-use plastic is recycled. “Chemicals from plastics are a constant part of our daily diet. We generally assume the water bottle holding that pure spring water, the microwave-safe plastic bowl we prepare our meals in, or the styrofoam cup holding a hot drink is there protecting our food and drinks. Rather than acting as a completely inert barrier, these plastics are breaking down and leaching chemicals, including endocrine-disrupting plasticizers like BPA or phthalates, flame retardants, and even toxic heavy metals that are all absorbed into our diets and bodies.” Scott Belcher, Ph.D., Research Professor, North Carolina State University & Spokesman, The Endocrine Society It can take up to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose, and it typically doesn’t disappear. It fragments into microparticles that contaminate our oceans and soil with toxins. It is estimated there is 150million tons of plastic in the ocean already, and that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Fish ingest microparticles of plastic and then, in turn, plastic enters our food chain, and is known to be linked to cancer and hormonal imbalances. Also, in the UAE, all local bottled water is typically filtered tap water, yet it is sold for up to 1,000 times the price of DEWA water (0.01 fil/liter). The UAE Government invests a lot of money to make sure tap water is of a high quality and perfectly safe to drink, which is fantastic. The only part the authorities cannot guarantee is piping. By recommending to install a filter on your tap, that would extract all remaining sediments, bacteria or rust, Drop it supports a more sustainable solution of drinking directly from the tap, and encourages people to carry their own reusable bottle, made of non-toxic materials like stainless steel or glass. What can I do to change the situation? On top of installing a filter at home or in the office, Drop it encourages companies and individuals to rethink their single-use plastic consumption and encourages them to reduce their usage of single-use plastic bags, cups, cutlery, straws by refusing them or looking into more durable, reusable alternatives. Indeed, these single-use items are typically difficult to recycle due to their small size and end up in landfill after offering a very short term convenience to their users. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and your home/office location. Drop it will introduce you to its preferred filter providers and these providers will be able to answer all technical and pricing questions, as well as to deliver a full feasibility study, with expected ROI, for companies. Drop it is completely free of charge for individuals, and requires companies to pay an affordable annual membership to access all awareness materials that will support their change internally and answer all questions from their employees. Drop it members also get to network with like minded companies on a monthly basis, and allow a special discount on home filters for their employees.