UAE retail conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim will eliminate single-use plastic from its operations by 2025, it announced on Tuesday.
Majid Al Futtaim said the decision will apply to all its units. It currently operates 26 malls, 13 hotels, 46 VOX cinemas and more than 285 Carrefour stores across the Middle East, Africa and Asia region. It also runs 36 Magic Planet centres across the region, as well as facilities such as Ski Dubai, iFly Dubai and Ski Egypt.
In line with its commitment, Carrefour stores will remove 800 million plastic grocery bags from circulation annually, a statement said.
Single-use-plastic bags from checkout counters, the fruits and vegetable section, fishery, bakery and butchery will be removed.
Polystyrene foam trays that ready meals are typically stored in, cutlery, straws, cling film, fruit nets and plastic ready to go food and drink containers and cups will also be eliminated.
The company clarified that the decision does not apply to any on-the-shelf items like garbage bags, detergent bottles and cleaning products, which will still be available for customers to purchase.
In 2017, Majid Al Futtaim started promoting reusable grocery bags across its markets, with this year’s sales of the eco-friendly bags increasing by 70 per cent, it said.
In cinemas, the decision will apply to single-use plastic bags, containers (eg – for nachos), cutlery and straws.
At its shopping malls including Mall of the Emirates and City Centre outlets, single-use plastic bags for hands-free shopping and single-use plastic water bottles for ‘VIP valet car lounge’ will be removed.
In 2018, the company’s shopping malls received 192 million visitors, estimating more than two million kg of plastic waste, the statement said.
“I believe we need to continue to push the sustainability agenda at a faster pace, and our customers are very much a part of that,” said Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, chief sustainability officer, Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.
The company said the phase-out process will include physical and digital campaigns to build awareness among customers to drive behavioural change.