A Survey on the Use of Plastic versus Biodegradable Bottles for Drinking Water Packaging in the United Arab Emirates
Due to intensive utilization and extensive production, plastic waste is becoming a serious threat to the environment and human health. The situation is even worse in countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where single-use plastic water bottles add to the load of plastic pollution. The main objective of this survey was to assess the extent of bottled water utilization by the UAE residents and their awareness of the environmental concerns arising from single-use plastic bottles. The aim was also to evaluate their willingness to shift towards using biodegradable plastic bottles. This study involved the feedback of 2589 respondents living in the UAE. The eigenvalue decomposition (EVD) was applied to determine the most responsible variables explaining the variability of our data set. A chi-square analysis was also used to determine the significance among the responses. Most of the respondents to this survey were UAE nationals (79.8%) of ages ranging from 21 to 35 years (42%), who were educated, with most holding a university degree (69.6%). Regardless of their gender, age, occupation, education, and income, a large group of respondents (40.7%) was concerned about the impact of their purchased items on the environment; however, the frequency of plastic products recycled was observed to be low (49.7%). According to the findings of this survey, 42.4% of the respondents were likely to purchase 100% biodegradable bottles, and about 70% of the respondents expressed a willingness to spend at least AED 1 more for purchasing 100% biodegradable bottles.