The Executive Council of Dubai sets policy to limit single-use bags

In order to improve environmental sustainability and encourage people to reduce excessive use of plastic, the Executive Council of Dubai approved a policy to limit single-use bags by introducing a tariff of 25 fils on single-use bags used to carry goods, starting from 1 July 2022. The tariff will be introduced in all shops in Dubai, including but not limited to retail shops, textile and electronics shops, restaurants, pharmacies, online and e-commerce shops.

As a next step, the policy will be evaluated in several stages until a complete ban on single-use bags within two years, after assessing changes in public behaviour. As sustainable development becomes a global priority, changing societal behaviour to reduce individuals’ ecological footprint is crucial to preserve natural resources and ecological habitats. These changes will ultimately contribute to environmental health, which is vital for maintaining a sustainable and high quality of life.

Research in recent decades has proven that there is a clear link between environmental quality and quality of life. Key areas of the link include: the impact of air, water and soil quality on physical health; the importance of natural habitats and biodiversity for mental health; and the significant role that the environment plays in the local economy in vital sectors such as tourism, entertainment, food production, etc.

In line with the environmental objectives set out in the National Agenda, the relevant government agencies have implemented programmes to improve environmental protection and resource conservation. These include a comprehensive waste management strategy for the emirate; a reduction in harmful fishing practices, such as a ban on the use of nets; and the introduction of a waste disposal fee from January 2022, which will significantly help reduce waste production and landfill.

The Dubai government has also invested in several projects aimed at turning waste into resources. In addition, the government is actively encouraging Dubai residents to improve sustainable waste sorting and recycling practices.  These efforts help to create a healthy environment as well as an environment to encourage investment in sustainable waste and resource management in line with the principles of the circular economy.  These waste management efforts will contribute to economic, environmental and social sustainability, creating an ecosystem that preserves natural resources and supports the adoption of a green, low-carbon economy in line with Dubai Waste Management Strategy 2041 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations for 2030.

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