A Boost For Aluminium Can Recycling in the UAE

Mar 21, 2024 1:21:59 PM

A Boost For Aluminium Can Recycling in the UAERecycling drink cans is one of the easiest ways to protect the environment, but across the world not enough is being done to capitalise on that fact. Now a major campaign hopes to change that for the better in the UAE and increase the flow of aluminium cans into recycling facilities like Imdaad’s Farz plant in Dubai.

Room for improvement

The UAE uses 660 million aluminium drinks cans every year and recycles just over a third of them. In some countries, recycling rates for such cans have reached more than 95 percent. That means a big opportunity for improvement and a potential easy win to prevent almost 440 million cans from ending up in the nation’s landfills each year.

We believe that if enough people realise just how perfectly suited to recycling an aluminium can is, these numbers will increase dramatically. Drink cans are the closest thing that exists to an infinitely recyclable product because there is virtually no loss of quality, meaning that the same material can be recycled again and again.

This process not only removes the need to extract new aluminum but uses just five percent of the energy of making a new can from scratch.

Making A Difference

A Boost For Aluminium Can Recycling in the UAE - Making a differenceAs part of the recent COP28 event in Dubai, The UAE joined Brazil and the US as the third country to adopt the Every Can Counts campaign. UAE has set an ambitious target of recycling 80 percent of cans by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.

To put that into context, if every country followed suit and met that goal, it would remove the equivalent of 60 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. According to the United State’s Environmental Protection Agency that’s the equivalent emissions created by the energy use of more than 7 million homes. Put another way, it’s the equivalent of removing the emissions of 151 gas-fired power plants.

The campaign calls for a “can do” approach, a light-hearted play on words that conveys a serious message. Improving recycling rates needs change in every sector:

  • Awareness campaigns can create cultural change in consumers so that putting used cans in the correct recycling bins becomes a force of habit.
  • Drinks manufacturers can promote the benefits of recycling and champion sustainability.
  • The recycling industry can improve its service to make it easier for consumers, local authorities, and aluminium companies to take full advantage.
  • Governments can set policies and boost infrastructure to make recycling cans both easier and a cultural norm.

Imdaad’s Contribution

Imdaad already works hard to boost aluminium recycling through its ground breaking environmental services division. This includes making it easier for organizations and individuals to send material for recycling, for example through regular collections, waste auditing, and local pickup points. Imdaad’s strategy also includes a technology-led recycling process at the Farz Material Recovery Facility. This uses technologies like magnets and near-infrared spectroscopy to separate mixed waste and isolate and recover individual recyclable materials.

We also play a big role in community education and awareness, both through our community outreach programmes, and through our school initiatives where our ever-popular mascot Khadour, travels to local schools to meet with the kids and to share the benefits of recycling.


We often think of tackling climate change as a major problem that requires dramatic large-scale solutions such as installing renewable energy infrastructure or reshaping the way humanity travels for work or leisure. Whilst this is a major factor, we should not overlook the simple changes anyone can make, even something as basic as putting a used drink can in a dedicated recycling bin.

The Every Can Counts campaign aims to change attitudes, infrastructure, and behaviour to plug this significant gap in UAE’s capability to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century.

It’s a campaign that requires buy-in from individuals, businesses, organizations and governments. Imdaad is proud to do its part by embracing technology to make recycling more convenient, more affordable and more productive.