facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon share icon
URL has been copied
Alliance to End Plastic Waste launches efforts to bring plastics circularity to the GCC
December 18, 2023

DUBAI — 18 December 2023 — Strengthening its commitment to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) at COP28 in Dubai. This milestone is complemented by the launch of the Alliance’s first official project partnership in the region with Yalla Return, a technology-powered recycling initiative, alongside the acceleration of eight regional startups via the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform.

MoU to explore waste management solutions in KSA

On 2 December 2023, SIRC and the Alliance signed an MoU in a strategic alignment with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) vision to achieve a 94 percent landfill diversion by 2035 and to establish a robust Saudi circular economy. The focus of this collaboration is to explore effective waste management solutions in KSA, particularly targeting the challenges posed by municipal solid waste (MSW) and specifically plastics. The aim is to implement optimal solutions across the entire value chain, including the collection, sorting, and recycling of plastic waste.

Attended by Ziyad Al Shiha, CEO of SIRC, and Justin Wood, VP and Head of EMEA at the Alliance, the official signing and announcement of the MoU took place during COP28 in Dubai. Under this partnership, SIRC will serve as the local partner, utilising its extensive knowledge of the local landscape and capabilities to spearhead initiatives within Saudi Arabia. As the project enabler, the Alliance will provide technical counsel and share key learnings from its portfolio of more than 50 projects across multiple countries worldwide.

“We are excited to collaborate with SIRC on waste management solutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At the Alliance, we believe in the essential role of partnerships in tackling global environmental advancements. By leveraging our global expertise and network, we aim to support Saudi Arabia, through SIRC, to transform its approach to plastic waste, driving innovation and sustainability,” said Jacob Duer, President and CEO at the Alliance.

Justin Wood added: “The level of ambition to improve waste management in the countries of the GCC is impressive and creates a strong context for the Alliance to contribute its resources and expertise in the pursuit of a circular economy for plastic.”

First project in the GCC: Yalla Return

In addition to the partnership with SIRC, the Alliance is working to increase recycling rates in the Middle East through a collaboration with its first project partner in the GCC – Yalla Return – a product of Nadeera Technologies. Yalla Return’s solution combines behaviour change, digital engagement, smart waste infrastructure, and community-focused interventions to engage and reward consumers with the intent to increase and improve recycling rates.

Yalla Return currently serves 26,000 users across 80 communities and employs proprietary technological solutions and interventions to change attitudes toward recycling. The initiative gamifies the collection process through a mobile application, smart bins, and QR-coded recycling bags, as members of the community are incentivised with financial rewards for their recycling efforts.

Rabih El Chaar, CEO of Nadeera, said: “We are very proud to be able to launch this project with the support of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste in 27 more communities across UAE and are looking forward to expanding our collaboration.”

8 startups selected: Accelerating new solutions to end plastic waste

Over the past three years, the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform, a partnership between the Alliance and Plug and Play, has accelerated more than 160 startups across the value chain. Over US$185 million in capital has been invested and deployed into these startups, resulting in more than 220 commercial pilots.

With the continued success of the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform across the world, the Alliance is excited to bring this incubation platform to the Middle East with the launch of the 8th Hub in Riyadh. It was inaugurated with a Selection Day event where eight promising startups were selected from the region to be accelerated – beaee_sa منصة بيئي , Bekia inc , Live Love Recycle, RePlaste, ReFuse, Terrax, TileGreen, and Verofax. We look forward to fostering these inspiring startups together with corporations, investors, and passionate individuals to tackle plastic waste and create much-needed solutions for the local ecosystem.

These collaborations mark a significant milestone in the Alliance’s efforts to address the plastic waste challenge in the GCC, and it remains committed to developing further innovative solutions and bringing plastic circularity to the region.