plastic bags

Dubai to charge 25fils on plastic bags in stores & restaurants from July 1

Single-use plastic bags will be charged 25fils at checkout counters in all stores in Dubai from July 1 onwards, The Executive Council tweeted on Monday.

The move comes “to limit single-use bags to enhance environmental sustainability”, it said. Restaurants, pharmacies and e-commerce deliveries are included in the new rule.

As a subsequent step, the policy will be evaluated over several stages until single-use carrier bags are completely banned within a span of two years, following the assessment of behavioral changes in the community.

The tariff on single-use bags is currently in effect in over 30 countries, and a partial or complete ban has been implemented in more than 90 countries globally, reflecting the magnitude of international efforts to reduce the consumption of single-use bags

Support for change

The council said that according to a survey, 50 per cent of the community segregates waste in their homes today. It added that support for changing practices around the use of single-use plastic bags, whether by introducing a total ban or the imposition of a traffic, has reached 85 per cent of the emirate’s community, including all nationalities and 100 per cent of businesses.

Ongoing efforts

Over the years, the public and private sector in the UAE have introduced several initiatives to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags.

Businesses are prohibited from printing on non-biodegradable plastic bags. Some supermarkets offer shoppers reusable bags – made of cloth, jute or insulation materials – at nominal cost to offset the use of disposable plastic bags. A few of them had even charged for the use of plastic bags.

Students meanwhile regularly highlight the environmental problems of plastic bags during school and community projects, with a number of interschool environment-themed contests held during the year.

Clean-up drives in deserts and the waters off the UAE coast are also regularly held, helping save wildlife and marine life while also raising more awareness.

Environmental protection

In line with the environmental objectives set out in the National Agenda, dedicated government entities have implemented programmes to enhance environmental protection and resource conservation. These include an integrated waste management strategy for the emirate; reducing harmful fishing practices such as banning the use of nets; and the enforcement of fees for waste disposal beginning January 2022, which significantly helps reduce waste production and dumping of waste in landfills.

The Dubai Government has also invested in several projects aimed at turning waste into resources. Furthermore, the government actively encourages the Dubai community to improve practices in sustainable waste segregation and disposal. These efforts contribute to providing a healthy environment as well as the conditions to encourage investments in sustainable waste and resource management, in line with the principles of a circular economy. These waste management efforts will fundamentally promote economic, environmental, and social sustainability while building an ecosystem that preserves natural resources, and supports the adoption of a green, low carbon economy in alignment with the Dubai Waste Management Strategy 2041, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations for 2030.

Source: Gulf News