A local water company will start selling a bottle made from plant-based materials to reduce the amount of plastic it produces.
Al Ain water launched its "plant bottle', which will be available at food service providers by May, at Gulfood in Dubai on Monday.
The new bottle, including the cap, is made from 100 per cent plant-based sources and is biodegradable and compostable within 80 days. It is the region's first locally made plant-based bottle.
Dr Rabih Kamleh, a senior vice president at Agthia Group, Al Ain's parent company, told The National the bottle would initially be made available at food service providers including hotels, airports and government offices.
Dr Kamleh said this would enable the establishments to organise a separate collection process for the eco-friendly bottles.
The used bottles will be sent to a partner composting company, or be recycled and used again.
A spokeswoman for Agthia said the price would depend on demand. The higher the demand, the lower the price as production scales up.
Agthia plans to sell the eco-friendly bottles in supermarkets for general consumers after trying them out with food service providers.
The bottle material took two years to develop. It consists of polymerised polylactic acid, which comes from the fermentation of sugar from different plants.
Unlike most plastics, these bottles contain no petroleum.
On Monday, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said he hoped to see more companies make an effort to reduce plastic use.
"We are proud of the role Emirati private businesses play in supporting our nationwide drive towards sustainability," Dr Al Zeyoudi said.
"We hope to see more businesses across all sectors with the same level of awareness and commitment to reducing their footprint to ensure that the UAE remains sustainable well into the future.
"The launch of Al Ain’s plant-based water bottle and Agthia’s other sustainability initiatives is a prime example of how innovation can go a long way in driving environmental sustainability.”