UAE to abolish plastic completely

The United Arab Emirates has imposed a total ban on the use of plastic bags from January 1, 2023, including their import, production and distribution.

By 1 January 2026, along with this, the use of plastic utensils such as cups, plates, cutlery, containers and boxes as well as spoons, forks, knives, straws and chopsticks will be banned.

Companies will be instructed to reduce the production of disposable materials for packaging cigarettes, wet wipes, balloons and other products. It is noted that the ban will not apply to polythene designed to preserve the freshness of products, as well as to exportable and re-exportable packaging.

The measures taken in the UAE are aimed at protecting the environment from polyethylene pollution. Earlier, four regions in the United Arab Emirates announced the phase-out of plastic bags. Already last summer, plastic bags were made payable in shops in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Umm Al Quwain banned single-use such bags from January 1, 2023, while Sharjah will do away with them from January 1, 2024.

Supermarkets Lulu, Spinneys and Waitrose are offering heavy-duty bags at a cost of AED 2.5. Spinneys and Waitrose are offering similar offers. Supermarkets in Abu Dhabi charge at least AED 50 for reusable bags alternatives to plastic bags – they can be used four to 10 times.

Disposable plastic materials are one of the most common causes of marine animal deaths. By 2025, for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean, there will be one tonne of plastic.

Notably, according to a report presented at the World Summit of Governments in February 2019, the UAE consumes 11 billion plastic bags annually, equivalent to 1,184 bags per capita compared to the global average of 307 bags.

Source: Khaleej Times

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