Dubai Can, a citywide sustainability initiative based in Dubai, UAE, has achieved a significant milestone by reportedly reducing the usage of nearly 18 million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles within two years of its inception.  

The initiative, in collaboration with various partners and sponsors, has installed 50 public water stations in key locations throughout the city, including parks and tourist attractions. 

These stations have dispensed close to nine million litres of water, providing an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bottles. 

Launched on 15 February 2022 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the project is intended to cut the utilisation of single-use plastic water bottles and engage residents and visitors in developing a more sustainable future.  

The initiative supports the Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan and the city’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goals and the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 targets.  

With the extension of the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’ into 2024, Dubai Can plans to install 30 more water fountains by the end of the year.

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Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, Corporate Strategy and Performance Sector, acting CEO Yousuf Lootah said: “We have seen consistent engagement with Dubai Can across the city, and the positive impact the initiative has made over the past two years.  

“By reducing plastic waste, we are protecting our oceans, wildlife, and natural landscapes, and by choosing reusable options like our public water stations, we are promoting a healthier lifestyle and reducing our carbon footprint. 

Dubai imposed a ban on plastic bags from 1 January 2024 as part of the Executive Council Resolution No. (124) of 2023 on single-use products.