Single-use plastic products and bags now banned in Dubai

Single-use plastic products and bags now banned in Dubai

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Dubai has taken a significant stride toward environmental conservation by instituting a ban on single-use plastic bags and products, effective from January 1, 2024. Spearheaded by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, this initiative underscores Dubai’s dedication to sustainable practices.

The ban encompasses both single-use disposable and recycled products, regardless of their material composition. It applies to a wide array of items, including plastic and non-plastic single-use products, food delivery packaging materials, fruit and vegetable wrapping, thick plastic bags, containers, and packaging materials made partially or entirely of plastic. The ban is applicable to sellers and consumers within Dubai, encompassing private development zones and free zones, including the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Certain exceptions exist, such as rolls of thin bags for specific purposes like packing meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, bread, garbage bags, and export or re-export items. Single-use plastic shopping bags, single-use shopping bags, and single-use disposable plastic products are also exempted from the ban.

Furthermore, the ban unfolds in phases. Starting from January 1, 2025, it extends to items like plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, styrofoam food containers, plastic straws, and plastic cotton swabs. Additional measures on January 1, 2026, include the inclusion of plastic plates, plastic food containers, plastic tableware, and beverage cups with their plastic lids.

Violators will face fines, commencing at Dh200, with a doubling penalty for repeated offenses within a year, capped at Dh2,000 when doubled. Individuals contesting decisions can submit grievances to relevant government departments within ten working days of notification.

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The overarching objective of this decision is to protect the natural environment, local biological and animal wealth, and foster sustainable and environmentally friendly behavior among community members. It aims to encourage the private sector to adopt recycled products, aligning with circular economy practices and regulating the use and recycling of single-use and plastic products.

To realize these goals, the decision mandates collaboration among authorities, entities, and consumers to develop and implement mechanisms and practices that reduce the production and consumption of single-use products. Sellers are required to actively participate in projects targeting the reduction of plastic materials and provide specified reusable alternatives at reasonable prices.

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