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NCWM, Makkah Municipality launch campaign to collect & sort empty plastic bottles in Makkah region

Riyadh: gulftech :
The National Center for Waste Management (NCWM) and Makkah Municipality’s Hygiene Department started distributing 15 smart machines to collect and sort empty plastic bottles in Makkah, in cooperation with PepsiCo, the world’s leading food and beverage company and its bottling partner, Middle East and North Africa Beverages Manufacturing Co. (MENABEV).

The initiative aims to enhance the awareness on the importance of sorting from the source to preserve the environment , by encouraging the local society to put the empty plastic bottles into the containers. This step is also part of PepsiCo’s efforts to enhance the concept of sustainable environment and apply best global practices to support the circular economy.

The campaign has been launched as a result of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was signed by PepsiCo and NCWM in July 2020 to raise awareness on the importance of environmental protection by using technological solutions to collect and sort plastic waste.

The MoU established a cooperation framework with one of the global companies in producing and operating smart containers that suit the geographical nature of Makkah. The smart, solar- powered containers work on sorting and separating the empty plastic bottles from the others to facilitate and accelerate the collection process for future use in other industries.

On this occasion, NCWM’s CEO Abdullah Faisal Al Sibaei has stated, “This initiative seeks to educate and raise awareness of the Saudi society on the importance of environmental protection by eliminating plastic waste in an ideal manner. The campaign aims to pilot technological solutions that can be used in the future to specifically deal with plastic waste during the Hajj season. This initiative has been launched, in alignment with the Saudi vison 2030, to protect and develop the holy sites’ environment.”

Abdullah Al Sibaei extended his thanks to PepsiCo for its efforts in launching this campaign, which reflects its keenness to enhance the concept of environmental sustainability.

Commenting on this initiative, Makkah Municipality’s Hygiene Department Director Mahmoud Sa’ati said, “Makkah Municipality is interested in using the artificial intelligence technology to sort and collect the waste from the source. This step has positive effects in raising the awareness, reducing the sorting process and speeding up waste transportation and disposal to factories for treatment and recycling.”

“We hope that this initiative helps to urge the private sector to activate its social contribution to create sustainable solutions in solving environmental challenges,” he added.

Nadim Nakfour, Managing Director of the Middle East and North Africa Beverages Manufacturing Co. (MENABEV), has welcomed this step, which reflects PepsiCo and MENABEV’s commitment to enhance environmental sustainability and support the circular economy in the Kingdom by working with all partners, in the public and private sector, to launch campaigns that reduce plastic waste.

“This campaign depends on innovative solutions to protect the environment, through the use of smart solar-powered containers to sort plastic packaging. This approach supports sustainable projects in Saudi Arabia, in alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030,” Nakfour added.
PepsiCo had launched several environmental activities through Aquafina, the official partner of a number of sport events hosted by the Kingdom, such as ABB – FIA Formula E 2019 in Diriyah and the Dakar Rally 2020 in Saudi Arabia.

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