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Dubai to charge for single-use plastic bags

/ 12:51 PM February 08, 2022
dubai supermarket

Emiratis and foreigners shop ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at a supermarket in Dubai on August 20, 2009. AFP FILE PHOTO

DUBAI — Dubai is ending the free distribution of single-use plastic bags in a drive towards more sustainable practices for the glitzy emirate known for its unbridled consumerism.

From home deliveries to supermarkets and shops, single-use plastic bags are ubiquitous across the emirate.

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“In line with enhancing environmental sustainability and encouraging individuals to reduce the excessive use of plastics, the Executive Council of Dubai has approved the policy to limit single-use bags by imposing a tariff of 25 fils (about $0.07) on single-use bags,” the authorities said.

The decision will come into force at the start of July in shops, restaurants, pharmacies and for home deliveries.

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The emirate vowed that this is the first step of a strategy planned over several stages, aimed at completely banning single-use plastic bags within two years.

“With sustainability becoming a global priority, changing the behavior of the community to reduce the environmental footprint of individuals is crucial to preserve natural resources and environmental habitats,” the authorities said.

In March 2020, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced its “new environmental policy” aiming to eliminate single-use plastics by 2021 — but regulations have yet to be applied.

This comes as the UAE prepares to host the COP28 global environmental conference in 2023, having set a target to become carbon neutral by 2050, in line with goals set by the COP26 conference in Britain last year.

Like much of the region’s countries, the UAE’s economy is principally reliant on fossil fuels.

Its neighbor Saudi Arabia — the region’s heavyweight and the world’s largest exporter of crude oil — targets carbon neutrality by 2060.

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TAGS: Dubai, environment, single use plastic, UAE
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