You now need to pay for single-use plastic bags in Dubai
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You now need to pay for single-use plastic bags in Dubai

You now need to pay for single-use plastic bags in Dubai

Major retailers such as Géant, Grandiose, Carrefour are geared up to implement this by providing sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives

Zubina Ahmed
single-use plastic bags in Dubai

Starting July 1, a tariff of 25 fils on single-use plastic bags will be implemented in Dubai. As per the legislation, customers will be charged at the checkout if they do not bring their own reusable bags or buy one.

As part of a wider initiative to improve the environment, the tariff will be implemented across all stores in Dubai including, retail, textile and electronic stores, restaurants, pharmacies and e-commerce deliveries as well. The policy will be evaluated over several stages until single-use carry bags are completely banned over a span of two years.

While the responsibility to choose environmentally friendly alternatives rests on all of us, it is particularly important for retailers to spearhead the change by slowly integrating them in the shopping experience.

“With UAE’s aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and hosting the COP28,  it’s high time as a community we realise the impact of single use bags on the environment. Regardless of the size, big or small, all retailers can do their bit to encourage the use of recycled and reusable packaging which enables lesser wastage as well as  diversion away from landfills,” said James Scott, CEO at Grandiose Supermarkets in Dubai.

“Grandiose Supermarkets is the first retailer in the UAE to remove single-use plastic bags from its checkout (both in-store and online), including the packaging of the fresh food category. So far, we have saved more than 15 million plastic bags since the brand’s inception and aim to raise the bar higher through other initiatives as well. We use recycled ocean plastic to manufacture a sustainable range of shopping trolleys, which also make a significant contribution to reducing the carbon footprint,” he added.

Géant, which was recently acquired by GMG reduced single-use plastics usage in-store, with an aim to make food packaging 100 per cent recyclable, compostable or reusable. “It is a step towards healing the world with one bag at a time. There are already several in-store touchpoints where we encourage  sustainability. From offering paper, jute and woven bags to reusable containers in our ‘grab and go’ section, we are committed to make a positive social, environmental and economic impact. We are confident that this initiative will further encourage our customers to opt for a more sustainable future,” said Marc Laurent, president, GMG Consumer Retail.

The brand is also partnering with key vendors in the waste management, water consumption packaging and recycling spaces to extend its sustainable offerings in-store. “Reducing and reusing is very important. It helps prevent pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. This helps sustain the environment for future generations. We are leaving a cleaner earth for our future generations,” adds Marc.

Carrefour, owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim in the UAE has also starting offering a wide variety of alternatives including reusable bags for 50 fils, woven bags for Dhs2.50 and juco options for Dhs11.50. The brand also encourages customers to bring their own bags from home to manage their spending and mitigate excessive plastic consumption.

“Carrefour commends the decision of the Dubai government to limit the use of single-use plastic bags and raise awareness about eco-friendly alternatives. We are working hard to encourage sustainable shopping behaviours and provide our customers with convenient options for an easy switch. The new government direction will take us a step closer to becoming Net Positive in carbon and water by 2040,” said Bernardo Perloiro, COO, GCC at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

A month earlier on June 1, Abu Dhabi banned the use of single-use plastics across all stores.  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.

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

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