Biodegradable, paper and plant-based: Dubai clarifies details on June 1 bag ban

All types of single-use bags will be prohibited as part of efforts to go greener

Single-use paper and biodegradable bags are included in the ban. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The Dubai government has clarified details of a law banning single-use bags, which will take effect on June 1.

The update was issued online this week by Dubai Municipality.

With single-use plastic bags already prohibited, the new ban will apply to all single-use bags that are 57 micrometres (0.057mm) thick or less. Paper, biodegradable and plant-made bags are included in this.

It is the next step in Dubai’s plan to go plastic-free, after a decision to ban single-use plastic bags in all emirates was taken in 2023.

Why ban non-plastic bags?

Although more environmentally friendly than plastic, biodegradable bags still do not totally decompose.

Requiring their own recycling process, they leave microplastics behind that could potentially enter the food chain.

Fines for shops and companies

The 25 fils fee on single-use bags will continue until June 1.

The Dubai government also confirmed fines will be imposed on businesses for non-compliance to the ban. A Dh200 ($54) penalty will double every time there is a repeat offence. The maximum fine is Dh2,000.


Bags that are 58 micrometres (0.058mm) thick, or more, are not included in the ban.

Other exemptions include:

  • bread bags
  • bin liners
  • wrapping bags for vegetables, meat and fish
  • laundry bags
  • electronic device bags
  • grain bags
  • bags used for products packaged online

What about consumers?

The Dubai government encourages consumers to have alternative bags that can be used repeatedly.

Shoppers are asked to report non-compliant stores through consumer protection channels at the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

This can be done online at or the contact centre on 600 545 5555.

Pathway to plastic-free

From 2025, single-use plastic products, including plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, styrofoam food containers, plastic straws and plastic cotton swabs, will also be prohibited.

From 2026, the ban will extend to other single-use plastic products, including plastic plates, plastic food containers, plastic tableware and beverage cups and their plastic lids.

Exceptions will include plastic bags made from recycled materials. It also includes plastics required in goods that are exported abroad.

Updated: March 29, 2024, 12:42 PM