Single-use plastic ban in Abu Dhabi begins: Everything you need to know!
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Single-use plastic ban in Abu Dhabi begins: Everything you need to know

Single-use plastic ban in Abu Dhabi begins: Everything you need to know

Major retailers in the UAE such as Carrefour, Spinneys and Lulu are geared up to implement this by providing sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives

Zubina Ahmed
plastic bags

The ban on single-use plastic bags in Abu Dhabi starts today, as part of a wider initiative to protect the environment and reduce waste. The directive was announced on April 6, by the Abu Dhabi Media Office, and is in line with the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi’s (EAD) single-use plastic policy that was introduced in 2020.

As a consumer, you are probably wondering what this involves: EAD is implementing measures to reduce demand for about 16 single-use plastic products that include cups, stirrers, lids and cutlery.

It will also phase out single-use styrofoam cups, plates and food containers by 2024.

The ban is only on single-use plastic shopping bags, while the thin ones used for meat and vegetables are exempt. What about trash bags, bin liners or pharmacy bags? As per regulations, they are not included in the ban.

Major retailers in the UAE such as Carrefour, Spinneys and Lulu are geared up to implement this by providing sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives. Reusable bags with the least environmental impact will be offered, or customers can bring their own reusable bags.

Leading hypermarket and supermarket chain Carrefour will provide plant-based bags made of starch to eliminate plastic from its checkout counters altogether. The new starch bags will be available for 25 fils at Carrefour stores across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain from June 1.

“With the implementation of the new policies in Abu Dhabi, it is our duty to ensure customers have the most convenient, cost-efficient options. Through constant innovation and close collaboration with our government and partners, we can continue to deliver the best shopping experience for our customers,” said Bernardo Perloiro, COO UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

Read: Abu Dhabi to ban single-use plastic bags from June 1

Customers at Carrefour can also find reusable bags made using paper, woven and canvas materials, which are equivalent to five regular bags. The brand hopes to incentivise responsible shopping habits through its loyalty programme by offering bonus share points for purchases of new reusable bags. Any plastic woven bag bought at Carrefour comes with a lifetime guarantee to mitigate excessive plastic consumption and protect the environment.

To provide more choices and raise awareness about responsible shopping, Carrefour has partnered with the leading conservation organisation Emirates Nature-WWF to design three limited-edition reusable bags priced at only Dhs11.50.

Sophie Corcut, sustainability manager for Spinneys and Waitrose, said the public would soon get used to the new rules.“Sustainability lies at the heart of Spinneys’ business strategy and we are committed to supporting the national target to completely ban all disposable bags in the UAE by 2024. We will continue to introduce rewards and initiatives to help our customers adopt an eco-friendlier way of living too.”

“From today, the price range of our reusable paper bags in Abu Dhabi will be between 25 fils to 75 fils.  Spinneys will also reward shoppers for reusing, by giving customers 25 fils off their total grocery bill every time they bring a bag back to store with them when they shop. This is as opposed to charging 25 fils to use a disposable plastic bag,” she added.

The retailer has partnered with Peahead Eco – a Dubai-based award-winning sustainable artist – to develop premium tote bags made from upcycled plastic bags.

Another leading local supermarket chain Lulu said they will no longer be providing free shopping bags at all Lulu stores in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Vijayan Nandakumar, director of marketing and communications of Lulu said,” We’ve come up with many options for the consumers to switch to reusable shopping bags. The price range of these bags are from 25 fils to Dhs5. There will be a variety of options such as starch bags, woven bags, cloth bags and jute bags, which can be reused over time, easily and conveniently. We are ready to implement this across all our stores and have already started running awareness programmes for our customers.

Earlier this year, the Executive Council of Dubai also announced a tariff on single-use bags. The policy will come into effect on July 1, 2022, in all stores operating in Dubai, including restaurants, pharmacies and e-commerce deliveries.

Read also: Dubai to impose tariff on single-use plastic bags from July 1

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