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8-year-old collects 15,000kg of paper waste in Dubai

The Indian student, Nia Tony, was honoured during the 22nd edition of the Emirates Recycling Awards in Dubai.

An eight-year-old eco-warrior has collected nearly 15,000kg of paper waste in Dubai as part of the Emirates Environmental Group’s nationwide recycling campaign.

The Indian student, Nia Tony, was honoured during the 22nd edition of the Emirates Recycling Awards in Dubai on Monday.

Through this UAE-wide campaign, the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) was able to reduce projected carbon emissions by at least 73,393 metric tonnes.

The eco-friendly drive had three categories – corporations, academic institutions and individuals/families – and the materials that were collected included paper, plastic, glass, cans, mobiles and toners.

Tony won the paper section in the individual category for her efforts in collecting a total of 14,914kg of paper waste. She told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the award ceremony that she went around her neigbhourhood with her parents to collect paper.

“I was campaigning around my area to collect paper, so that it can be recycled,” she said. “Every week, I would go out to collect newspapers, magazines, and other paper that people were throwing away or didn’t want to keep.

“I think it’s important for children, like myself, to start recycling and spreading awareness about the environment from an early age, so we can acquire the habit of living green as we get older.”

The runner-up in the same category was seven-year-old student Lacksana Karthikeyan, who was able to collect 6,987kg of paper waste.

“I have been collecting the paper that is thrown near the bin outside our building. When I go to class, students and school staff also give me some paper, which I recycle. We can save the environment by recycling. It’ll save the trees that produce oxygen for us. Instead of wasting paper and cutting trees, we can save them,” Karthikeyan said.

In the academic institutions category, the American School of Dubai in Al Barsha won the paper campaign, with a collection of 19,923kg of paper waste.

Our Own High School in Al Warqa’a won the aluminum cans, plastic and mobile phones categories. The collection drive for toners was topped by The Millennium School students, who collected 299 pieces.

Meanwhile, pupils at the American University of Sharjah bagged the winning spot for the glass category with a total collection figure of 960kg.

A student at Our Own High School in Al Warqa’a said: “It’s necessary for us to participate in these kinds of activities. We always contribute recyclable items and we give a chance to everyone in our school to get involved in eco-friendly activities.”

Habiba Al Mar’ashi, chairperson of EEG, said: “The EEG works closely with government institutions to contribute effectively in changing the rules of the game and advance sustainable development through strategies, policies and initiatives. The focus is on providing an alternative to landfilling household wastes. They have also promoted the growth of the market for recycled products at the local level.”

Recycling champions

Winners in individual category

>Paper – Nia Tony collected 14,914kg

>Aluminum cans – Dhanvi Nikhil Kumar Sayan collected 299kg

>Plastic – Namaa Ismail Al Zarooni collected 767kgs

>Toners – Nityashri Sankaran collected 385 pieces

>Glass – Mia Ghrayeb collected 317kgs

>Mobile phones – Justina Jibin collected 481 pieces

Winners in academic institutions category

>Paper – American School of Dubai in Al Barsha, 19,923kg

>Aluminum cans – Our Own High School in Al Warqa’a, 358kg

>Plastic – Our Own High School in Al Warqa, 1,343kg

>Toners – The Millennium School, 299 pieces

>Glass – American University of Sharjah, 960kg

>Mobile phones – Our Own High School in Al Warqa, 524 pieces



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