‘Drop it’ campaign encourages consumers and businesses in the UAE to avoid plastic bottled water and adopt reusable glass bottles that can be refilled with filtered tap water A new environmental campaign ‘Drop it’ launched recently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) urged consumers and businesses to drop plastic water bottles in favour of glass receptacles that can be refilled with in-house filtered tap water as a much safer alternative for the human body and the environment. Bottled water kept under the heat and sun leeches toxins into the water thus affecting human health. Moreover, discarded plastics on land and in the oceans are destroying wildlife and marine environment, said the campaign organiser Goumbook, a not-forprofit organisation in the UAE aiming at raising awareness on sustainability and green living. The UAE has one of the highest consumption rates of bottled water per capita in the world, said Tatiana Antonelli, Managing Director of Goumbook. There are hundreds of different brands, and in certain instances the price of bottled water is up to 1000 times the cost of tap water, she stressed. The campaign recommends individuals and businesses to install filters on taps in homes and offices to help people refill their glass bottles every day, she noted. Members who sign up for the campaign can ask a ‘Drop it’ water consultant to visit and assess their home or office free of charge, and then they can choose the filter technologies that best suit their needs. The campaign has already garnered support from many organisations based in the UAE. Among the key speakers and ambassadors who attended the event was HH Sheikh Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ali bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, UAE’s ‘Green Sheikh’. Saying no to plastic water bottles will require a major shift in people’s thinking and habits, he said, also highlighting the urgent need for change in behaviour and actions that would help preserve the environment for future generations.