Humans eat a credit card’s worth of plastic a week: Research

  • Expo 2020 Dubai Water Week sees the launch of purifiers that can remove impurities 400 times smaller than the smallest virus, including microplastics.
  • Dubai’s NIA introduces Bluewater purifiers, whose SuperiorOsmosis™ membrane removes impurities down to 0.0001 micron in size.
  • The launch is in line with the UAE’s Sustainable Development Goals. It coincides with ‘Dubai Can’, Sheikh Hamdan’s initiative to cut down on single-use plastic.
  • Bengt Rittri, Founder and CEO of Bluewater: Global studies show that dirty tanks and pipes can result in an invisible toxic cocktail of chemicals and microplastics, which are linked to health issues like cancer and brain damage.
  • Massoud Biouki, Trade Commissioner of Sweden to the UAE: Sweden ranks No. 8 on the Environmental Performance Index while UAE leads the MENAP region. We’re delighted that a Swedish company can participate in the UAE’s sustainability journey.
  • Kamran Birjees Khan, Chief Executive Officer of NIA: Dubai’s leadership has set a sustainable course with recent initiatives to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles, making the timing of this launch perfect.
  • UAE-based NIA will market, distribute, and service these compact water purifiers for residential, business, and public use.

DUBAI, March 20, 2022 – A study[1] conducted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that an average person could be consuming one credit card worth (5 grams) of plastic each week. The ‘No Plastic in Nature: Assessing Plastic Ingestion from Nature to People’ commissioned by WWF and carried out by the University of Newcastle, Australia, found we’re consuming about 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic every week. That’s approximately 21 grams a month, just over 250 grams a year. The study found microplastics contamination in 93 per cent of the globally-sourced bottled waters it tested, at levels two times higher than those previously recorded in tap water samples.

On Day 1 of the Expo 2020 Water Week today, Dubai’s NIA Limited announced the UAE and GCC launch of Swedish innovator Bluewater’s award-winning water purification solutions at a water symposium in the Swedish Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The Bluewater SuperiorOsmosis™ membrane solution removes impurities down to 0.0001 micron in size (400 times smaller than the smallest virus), including microplastics, hormones, metals such as lead and mercury, chemicals, salt, bacteria and viruses, and chlorine.

The launch is in line with Dubai Can, the citywide sustainability movement launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, to inspire people to make a difference through a sustainability-focused programme.

A stunning live demo of the water purification solutions showed an awe-struck audience how water contaminated with everything from coffee to ketchup was purified to the highest global standards by Bluewater’s award-winning systems in no time.

Bluewater purifiers harness patented second-generation reverse osmosis technology called SuperiorOsmosis™ to remove virtually all known pollutants from tap water, including lead, bacteria, pesticides, medical residues, chemicals, microplastics, and lime-scale.

Expo 2020 Dubai is celebrating Water Week this week (March 20-26), the last of 10 Theme Weeks that have taken place throughout the six months of the global event, forming part of the Programme for People and Planet.

The demo followed a water symposium themed ‘Investing In Our Planet And The Water We Drink’. Panellists included Dr Peiman Kianmehr, Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, American University in Dubai; Bluewater’s Founder and CEO Bengt Rittri; NIA CEO Kamran Birjees Khan; and Bluewater scientist Dr Ahmed Fawzi. The panel discussion was moderated by former journalist David Noble, Communications Director of Bluewater.

Among senior officials attending the launch were Mr Nasser Mohd Hussain bin Lootah, EVP – Generation (P&W), Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), Mr M.T.H. Nia, President, Nia Limited; Ms Nora Khidir, First Secretary – Business and Culture Promotion, Embassy of Sweden; Mr Massoud Biouki, Trade Commissioner of Sweden to the UAE; Jedidja Rittri, Head Of Global Sales & Marketing, Bluewater; Ms Haleh Nia, Chief Transformation Officer, Nia Limited; Randhir Nagarkar, Head of Wellness & Sustainability, Nia Limited; and Anand Bhaskar, Chief Technology Officer, Nia Limited.

The Water Week at the Expo brings together public and private sector change-makers to explore how to better preserve and protect a finite, precious and threatened natural resource that sustains all life on Earth. Organisers of the Water Week noted that, today, one in four people (two billion) worldwide lack safe drinking water, half (3.6 billion) lack safe sanitation, and 2.3 billion go without basic handwashing facilities at home.

The launch of Bluewater’s premium water purification solutions, including sustainable bottles, is in line with the UAE’s Sustainable Development Goals. According to, an average person uses 156 plastic bottles a year, of which less than one-third are recycled. The average UAE resident uses 450 plastic water bottles per year, almost three times the global average.

Besides removing more contaminants, Bluewater’s patented technology significantly reduces the water wasted during a typical reverse osmosis process, delivering more purified water at a considerably faster rate.

Bluewater’s water purifiers and reusable bottles made of sustainable material are part of the solution to help slash that number, coinciding with the country’s initiatives to cut down on single-use plastic. There are significant additional benefits and resource savings from using purified tap water and reusable bottles. The total energy required for bottled water production is 2,000 times the energy needed to produce tap water. Just one litre of water bottled in PET plastic requires three litres of water, a significant waste of natural resources and contributor to climate change.

Massoud Biouki, Trade Commissioner of Sweden to the UAE, said: “Sweden ranks at No. 8 on the Environmental Performance Index while the UAE is the leader in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region. We’re delighted that a Swedish company can participate in the UAE’s sustainability journey and help share our experience and expertise to bolster the UAE’s green credentials further.”

Bluewater manufactures and commercialises compact water purifiers for residential, business, and public use. “We are proud to make our health and lifestyle-enhancing, super-efficient water purification solutions and premium bottles more accessible throughout the UAE and GCC,” said Bluewater’s Bengt Rittri.

NIA’s Kamran Khan said: “We are pioneering an exciting new future of water with this launch of Bluewater’s water purifiers and sustainable bottles. Dubai’s leadership has set a sustainable course with its initiatives to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles, and the timing of our launch could not be better.”

Mr Khan praised the Dubai Can initiative launched recently by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. As part of the drive, Dubai has installed water stations at over 30 locations to reduce plastic water bottles across the Emirate. “We are keen to empower businesses and our planet-conscious customers to play a pivotal role in inspiring a world without single-use plastic,” he said.

As part of its commitment to a cleaner planet, Bluewater promises to remove 1kg of plastic waste from our world’s beaches for every reusable Bluewater bottle sold. “Bluewater has put the eradication of single-use plastic bottles at the very heart of its business mission. The company has innovated a unique ecosphere with its water purifiers and premium re-useable bottles, designed to help consumers quit single-use plastic bottles,” said Haleh Nia, Chief Transformation Officer, NIA.

She said Bluewater is a brand whose mission and values of sustainability are perfectly aligned with NIA’s, and demonstrate it is possible to build re-useability into business models. Bluewater’s Rittri underscored his company’s commitment to developing technologies that deliver clean water people can trust alongside solutions like environmentally friendly re-useable bottles and localised micro-bottling systems that end the need for throwaway plastic bottles.

He added: “Plastic pollution is headline news, but it is only part of the bigger water problem. In 2022, we live in a world where few on the planet can take having access to safe, great-tasting water for granted. Around the world, various studies have shown that dirty tanks and pipes can contaminate tap water, making it unsafe for drinking. In many cases, tap water may include an invisible toxic cocktail made up of chemical, microplastic, and other contaminants linked to cancer, brain damage, and additional health issues.”

The launch event included a familiarisation session for the top executives of the UAE’s Horeca (Hotel/Restaurant/Café) sector as well as senior representatives from the country’s education and real estate development sectors. Bluewater offers a market-focused portfolio of water purifiers, ranging from units for smaller households such as the Cleone to the Spirit and Pro purifiers for larger homes and commercial applications such as restaurants, hotels, dental surgeries, and other medical environments.

Mr Rittri is a Swedish environmental entrepreneur who earlier founded Blueair, an air purification company later acquired by Unilever. Since 2013, he has forged Bluewater into a purpose-driven water company providing leading-edge water purification technology solutions for homes, businesses, and public dispensing.

Technical Specifications of Bluewater Purifiers 

FlowUp to 190 litres/dayUp to 2,521-3,380 litres/day depending on modelUp to 6,912 litres/day
Recovery25%53-61% depending on model61%
Purification TechnologyReverse Osmosis (RO)SuperiorOsmosis™SuperiorOsmosis™
Reduction RateUp to 99%Up to 99%Up to 99.7%
Power Consumption23-31 W depending on model350 W530 – 720 W
Dimensions215 x 380 x 416 mm150 x 365 x 462 mm225 x 430 x 466 mm product size or 225 x 475 x 466 mm installation size
Water Tank8-17 litres
FaucetRO faucet includedPure water faucet included

All models remove the following contaminants

  • Microplastics
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical residues
  • Salt
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Metals such as lead, mercury
  • Hormones
  • Chlorine