UAE to ban single-use plastic bags from 2024 in move to drive circularity

UAE – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced plans to impose a nationwide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags from 1 January 2024in a bid to drive circularity.

The law would prohibit the import, production and circulation of such bags from Jan. 1, 2024, according to an announcement carried out by the state-run WAM news agency.

According to the Khaleej Times, the country will also implement a similar ban on plastic cups, plates and cutlery from Jan. 1, 2026,

The ban would include spoons, chopsticks, straws, forks, knives and stirrers, but exclude thin bag rolls used for food items.

In addition, the ban will not cover products that are intended to be exported or re-exported and bags made from recycled materials in the country.

The rule is intended to encourage stakeholders to work together to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic.

This will involve adopting initiatives to help consumers switch to multi-use products, as well as ensuring that alternatives are readily available at shopping centers and retail stores.

The announcement comes after The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) banned the use of single-use plastic bags in June last year, as reported by Gulf Today.

Through the implementation of the region’s first integrated policy, the Agency planned to gradually reduce the amount of single-use plastic products consumed across Abu Dhabi and encourage the use of reusable products.

The comprehensive policy has been developed to promote a healthy environment and a sustainable lifestyle for all and to combat climate change by reducing resource consumption and associated pollution.

The following month, Dubai also started applying a 25-fil (6 cents) charge to plastic bags with the aim of phasing the disposable bags out in two years.

These moves are in line with the UAE’s wider commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

The UAE Net Zero target aligns with the Paris Agreement and would make the UAE the first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nation to do so.

The UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative builds on the country’s three decades of climate efforts and represents a strategic target for the next three decades.

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