Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, has launched an ambitious new recycling drive in the emirate.
Known as “Dubai Can”, it will encourage people to carry refillable water bottles, use free public water fountains across the city and cut down on plastic waste.
It follows Dubai's move to place a levy on the use of single-use plastic bags and aims to raise awareness about sustainability issues. Authorities said they wanted to create a "cultural shift" in the mindset of residents.
There are scores of fountains already dotted across the city, from Kite Beach to the Dubai World Trade Centre and several at Expo 2020 Dubai, while authorities plan to introduce at least 50 more.
Authorities said the water from Dubai Can fountains is filtered, desalinated water, safe to drink and similar to that found in any plastic bottle.
Close to 40 per cent of all plastic in the UAE is single-use and the initiative aims to cut down on that particularly by encouraging individual residents to go the extra mile for the environment.
Single-use plastics can take hundreds of years to degrade and represent a big threat to wildlife.
Public awareness campaigns are expected to follow in the coming weeks.
The drive to encourage people to use water fountains is just the latest step in attempts to protect the environment.
Dubai is to introduce a charge of 25 fils for single-use plastic bags from July 1 and it will be applied in retail and clothing stores, restaurants and pharmacies, as well as in delivery and e-commerce orders.
The charge will be evaluated in stages before single-use plastic bags are banned completely in two years' time.