Sustainability Pathways

"Think Before You Waste" campaign

Type of practice Reduce
Name of practice "Think Before You Waste" campaign
Name of main actor Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi
Type of actor(s) Public authority
Location United Arab Emirates
Stage of implementation Consumption
Year of implementation 2009
What was/is being done? According to a report published in 2009 by the Centre for Waste Management – Abu Dhabi, 33% of Abu Dhabi’s waste is food and is disposed of each year, contributing to landfills, carbon emissions and ultimately climate change. Approximately 500 tonnes of food gets thrown away during the month of Ramadan in Abu Dhabi. Following the launch of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi‘s ‘Think Before You Waste’ campaign during Ramadan, 49 405 hot meals, 18 tons of rice and 100 cold meal parcels were distributed to needy people across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The meals were donated to poor families, orphans, people with low income, various humanitarian cases and factory workers with the support of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (Awqaf), the UAE Red Crescent Authority and Hefth Al Ne’ma (Save the Grace). Throughout this campaign, Awqaf communicated important tips and information on food waste to all of the Emirate’s imams (leaders of the mosques), for them to disseminate to the praying community during the Friday prayer, all through the Holy Month of Ramadan. Islamic preachers called on residents to consider reducing personal food waste as part of their religious responsibility, as outlined in the Holy Qur'an. Hefth Al Ne’ma worked closely with Abu Dhabi’s major hotels, palaces and organizations who hosted large gatherings. They collected safe and edible leftover food, ensuring it is distributed to those in need. Untouched meals were then packed and immediately delivered to the needy, in vehicles specially equipped to keep meals at optimal temperature.
Outcomes and impacts According to the FWF model, 500 tonnes of food saved from wastage means saving 935 tonnes of CO2eq, 0.178 km3 of water and 1 730 ha of land.