Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Aya Al Deeb, Staff Reporter
The ban on the use of single-use plastic bags in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will take effect from Wednesday based on the integrated policy that the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi launched in 2020 to curb the use of these bags.
Starting from Wednesday, retail outlets will collect a minimum of 50 fils from the public on each of the alternative multi-use shopping bags. Excluded from the ban will be bags of vegetables, fruits, meat, chicken and fish as well as waste bags, flower, plant and grain bags, mail bags and bags used in laundries and pharmacies.
The banned single-use bags are less than 50 microns thick and are currently used on cashier’s desks in outlets, the agency said, adding that outlets have replaced these bags with thicker ones that can be used at least 4 to 10 times.
Earlier, the CEOs of the main outlets in Abu Dhabi; namely, Abu Dhabi Co-operative Society, SPAR, Carrefour, Lulu Hypermarket, Choithrams, Spinneys and Waitrose, signed last week with the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi a voluntary declaration in which they committed to support the implementation of the single-use plastics policy. The agency confirmed that single-use plastic materials are one of the most common causes of marine animal deaths, noting that by 2025, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the ocean.
It is noteworthy that according to a report presented at the World Government Summit in February 2019, the UAE consumes 11 billion plastic bags annually, which is equivalent to 1,184 bags per capita, compared to the global average of 307 bags.
The unprecedented policy plans to curtail plastic consumption habits among the common public and redirect them to sustainable materials that would considerably reduce plastic waste in the oceans.
Through the implementation of the region’s first integrated policy, the Agency plans to gradually reduce the amount of single-use plastic products consumed across Abu Dhabi, and encourage the use of reusable products.
The country generates around four million tonnes of plastic waste per year, about a third of which is not recycled and ends up in waterways and landfills that regularly catch fire and exacerbate air pollution.
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