Will implement a full ban within two years



KT file

Published: Mon 7 Feb 2022, 14:57

Last update: Mon 7 Feb 2022, 17:35

A new policy approved in Dubai on Monday will make you think twice about asking for a plastic bag in shops.

Starting July 1, retail, textile and electronics stores, restaurants and pharmacies will charge 25 fils on single-use bags at counters. The rate is also applicable to e-commerce deliveries.

The policy will be assessed “in stages” until single-use bags are completely banned within two years.

Citing a survey, Dubai’s Executive Council said 100% of businesses support the introduction of a total ban or the imposition of a fee on single-use bags. Around 85% of Dubai residents also said they would support the move.

Hundreds of camels and turtles die every year after consuming plastic in the country.

Dubai’s Executive Council said the policy would improve environmental sustainability and encourage individuals to reduce the use of plastics.

“As sustainability becomes a global priority, changing community behavior to reduce the environmental footprint of individuals is crucial to preserving natural resources and environmental habitats. The changes will ultimately contribute to a healthier environment, which is essential to maintaining a sustainable and high quality of life, the council said.

The tariff on single-use bags is currently in force in more than 30 countries. A partial or total ban has been put in place in more than 90 countries around the world, “reflecting the scale of international efforts to reduce the consumption of single-use bags”.

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Citing studies, the council said there is a “clear link between the quality of the environment and the quality of life”.

“The main areas of association include the impact of air, water and soil quality on physical health; the importance of natural habitats and biodiversity on mental health; and the important role the environment plays in the local economy in vital sectors such as tourism, entertainment and food production, among others.

Government entities have already implemented several programs to improve environmental protection and resource conservation. These include an integrated waste management strategy for the emirate and the reduction of harmful fishing practices such as net bans. The application of charges for waste disposal from January 2022 will help reduce the dumping of waste in landfills.