It’s hard to know where trash comes from, since we seem to be brimming in it. Every single piece of plastic ever made still exists, and a lot of it gets washed into our waterways. The Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic, along with major rivers such as the Nile, are all polluted. That some marine life continues to thrive is a strong testament to nature’s resilience.
But if we don’t curtail the extent to which solid waste and contaminants such as oil seep into our rivers and seas, our fish will become increasingly toxic. Not to mention that International law requires that countries keep their oceans and seas clean. Abu Dhabi has finally taken the first step towards making that easier for boat owners to do.
Reporting for The National, Vesela Todorova writes that Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transportation and Centre of Waste Management joined forces to divert sea dumping to trash facilities set up at the Yas Marina Port.
Consisting of two 1.1 cubic meter containers and a separate tank for used oil and hydraulic fluids, the facility will enable boat owners to not only offload their trash, but also their recyclables.
“One container is to be used for recyclable items such as plastics, drinks containers, glass, paper and metal. The other is for general rubbish,” according to the paper.
Authorities developed the plan in light of the inevitable influx of large boats and yachts during the upcoming F1 Grand Prix. They also plan to monitor boater’s behavior and then incorporate lessons into similar facilities throughout Abu Dhabi.
“This particular recycling facility is set up for small ports and marinas, it will serve any vessel that comes to the marina,” Essam Ahmad, senior consultant at the center told The National.
Even small boats can do considerable damage to the marine environment if they don’t operate within the 2008 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, or Marpol’s stipulations.
Mr Ahmad said that the oil leaking out of discarded containers is a hazardous waste with “humongous effects on the environment and marine life”.
A diver from the Al Mahara Diving Center told Ms. Todorova that while Abu Dhabi’s waters are generally fairly clean, it is not uncommon to find trash.
“Some recreational boaters throw away a plastic bottle here and there,” she told the paper, adding that “divers also find plastic containers for lubricants, such as engine oil, near ports and arenas.”
Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are all equally bound by the convention.
:: The National
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