Abu Dhabi’s commitment to ban single-use plastic takes shape on June 1
Abu Dhabi has implemented the ban on single-use plastic products across the emirate with effect from June 1. The initiative has been taken under Abu Dhabi’s integrated Single-Use Plastic Policy to curtail the sale of single-use plastic bags by all retailers in the emirate.
Launched in March 2020 by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), the Single-Use Plastic Policy is aimed at ensuring that the marine and land environment is safe and free from single-use plastic waste.
The policy reflects the UAE’s steadfast commitment to transform the country into a more sustainable economy which endeavours to reduce waste and preserve the biodiversity in the environment. With this policy, Abu Dhabi has joined more than 127 countries that have already enacted similar measures to ban or limit the use of plastic products.
Authorities have called on consumers and retailers to support and cooperate with the initiative by using more sustainable and eco-friendlier alternatives to plastic bags and other products, such as jute and cotton bags and reusable daily items.
As part of the ban, people are encouraged to bring their own bags or pay for reusable bags for purchases at stores and supermarkets. No single-use plastic bags will be allowed for sale even with cost. Several Abu Dhabi supermarkets have already been selling reusable bags to support the efforts to reduce plastic waste.
“If we do not take bold steps to contain the use of single-use plastics through influencing behaviour and effective waste management, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans and seas by 2050 – creating lasting impacts on, not just ocean health, but ultimately human health and global food security,” Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, EAD Secretary General, warned.
UAE’s unrelenting efforts to save environment
With such measures, the UAE is promoting the importance of a healthy environment as well as a sustainable lifestyle with the overall goal to combat the impact of climate change. Reducing the use of single-use plastic is a major initiative led by the UAE authorities to reduce pollution and preserve the environment for future generations.
Continuing the legacy of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed, the Emirati leadership has been imposing relevant policies to protect the environment and achieve sustainability by fostering a culture of recycling and re-use.
As per reports, an estimated 13 million tonnes of plastic waste goes to the world’s oceans every year which harm the marine wildlife and disturb the natural habitats with toxic chemicals. Noting the grave concern posed by the use of plastic products to the marine environment, the UAE’s policy is a significant step towards the creation of a robust environmental, social and economic sustainable waste management system in the emirate.
Abu Dhabi is planning to phase out single-use styrofoam food containers, cups, plates and other plastic products by 2024. Furthermore, Dubai is planning to introduce a mandatory 25 fils charge per plastic bag across all retail stores, online shopping, restaurants and pharmacies with effect from July 1.