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29 Mar 2024

Dubai: All single-use bags to be banned from June 1; fines, exemptions revealed

Dubai: All single-use bags to be banned from June 1; fines, exemptions revealed

A Dubai-wide ban on single-use bags — including both plastic and paper — will come into effect in less than three months. The emirate had mandated businesses to impose a 25-fil charge on single-use plastic bags from the beginning of this year. From June 1, all single-use bags will be banned across retail outlets in Dubai, with stores not obligated to offer free alternatives.

The policy covers single-use bags for carrying goods and shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable carriers.

In an awareness guide that the Dubai Municipality published on Thursday, the civic body said the banned bags include biodegradable ones.

“Biodegradable bags require their own recycling stations. If left in landfills, they leave behind small plastic particles (microplastics) which can be consumed by animals and in this way enter the food chain,” the municipality says in the guide.

Exemptions

Among the bags that are exempted from the policy are:

  • Bread bags.
  • Bags used for products packaged online.
  • Trash bin liners.
  • Wrapping bags for vegetables, meats, fish, and chicken.
  • Laundry bags.
  • Electronic device bags.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Grain bags.
Penalties

A financial penalty of Dh200 will be applied for non-compliance with the policy. It will be doubled in case of a repeated offence, with the fine capped at Dh2,000. Shoppers have been urged to report errant stores to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

According to the municipality, the guide — available online in Arabic and English — answers important questions that consumers and businesses may have about the ban. It also highlights green alternatives to plastics along with tips on how to be more sustainable.

It is “aimed at individuals, public sector entities, private businesses, corporations, and institutions”.

Mohammed Alrayees, head of Waste Strategy and Projects Department at Dubai Municipality, said: “This comprehensive guide has been launched to answer questions on single use plastics and green alternatives in line with our support for all individuals, businesses and institutions to adopt sustainable practices.”

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