(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Irfan Bukhari |
Doha Municipality yesterday held 'International Plastic Bag Free Day' campaign at Lulu Hypermarket, D-Ring Road, to create awareness against rampant use of disposable plastic bags.
The event was held within the initiatives of Doha Municipality under the Ministry of Municipality to educate people about the rules of using plastic bags.
Recently, the Ministry of Municipality issued a decision to ban single-use plastic bags in Qatar from November 15, 2022 onwards wherein it announced the controls being enforced for the use of plastic bags.
The regulations on the use of plastic bags, which were approved by the Cabinet, prohibit institutions, companies, and shopping centres from using single-use plastic bags.
The event was attended by officials from the Ministry, including Ali Mohammed Al Qahtani, Head of Health Inspection and Monitoring Unit at Doha Municipality; Dr. Asmaa Abu Baker and Dr. Heba Abdul Hakim from the Food Control Section. Officials from Lulu Hypermarket including Dr. Mohamed Althaf, Director of Lulu Group International, also attended the campaign.
Talking to the media, Ali Al Qahtani said the event was being held following the decision of Doha Municipality to hold activities at shopping malls for two days, Sunday and Monday, to educate people about uses of plastic bags according to the Ministerial Decision No. 143 of 2022.
He said the decision bans single-use plastic bags at all food outlets, replacing them with eco-friendly alternatives printed with fork and cup, starting from November 15, 2022.“Initially, in this week, the awareness activities are being held at two commercial outlets — Lulu Hypermarket and Carrefour,” said Al Qahtani.
The Ministry encourages the use of environmentally-friendly alternatives such as multi-use plastic bags, biodegradable bags, bags made of paper or woven cloth and other biodegradable materials with a view to achieve strategic objectives of Qatar in conserving the environment and optimal investment in waste recycling.
Aligned with the campaign, Lulu Group distributed free reusable bags to the public and set up a booth where eco-friendly products were displayed. The store was decorated with the cutout of a tree bearing reusable bags on its branches. They also organised a quiz programme for the kids with attractive gifts, with a view to inculcate awareness on the risk that plastic poses to the environment.
Various sustainability initiatives have been brought into practice by Lulu Group over the last two decades. The recipient of the 'Sustainability Award 2019' at the Qatar Sustainability Summit, LuLu Group has highlighted its efforts to promote environment-friendly practices in its operations and 18 stores in Qatar, and in the community at large. As part of its ongoing efforts to conserve energy and water, reduce waste, and to incorporate sustainable practices, Lulu Group has achieved sustainable operations certification for various outlets in Qatar.
The Lulu Hypermarket has introduced the Reusable Bags and promoted them in all the outlets encouraging customers to reuse their shopping bags.
Reverse vending machines have been procured and implemented in multiple outlets to encourage and educate customers on segregation and recycling of plastic bottles and cans.
Various other measures to reduce the amount of plastic in packaging were introduced including the introduction of refilling stations, kraft paper bags and biodegradable packaging made with sugarcane pulp, used for packing in-house kitchen products.
Food waste digesters are also being used to efficiently manage the food waste generated in the operation. An innovative food waste solution named 'ORCA', which recycles food waste by breaking it down into water and some carbs, fats and proteins which are then captured or repurposed, is currently being under trial at Lulu's Bin Mahmoud store.
Lulu Hypermarket in Qatar has become one of the first retailers in MENA to achieve sustainable operations certification under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) from the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD). They have installed Building Management System for building to efficiently manage the assets associated with the building ventilation and lighting.
Use of LED lights is being encouraged for their upcoming projects and existing projects are being gradually shifted to LED from conventional lights. Light control systems assisted with motion sensors are being considered to optimise the use of energy, especially in the warehouse operations. Lulu Hypermarket always follows an all-inclusive approach in promoting 'Made in Qatar' products, as a responsible retailer. Lulu provides dedicated retail space and point-of-sale terminals for locally manufactured food products.
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