Sharjah to ban single-use plastic bags and materials from 2024

As of October 1, sales outlets in the emirate will have to levy a minimum charge of 25 fils on all single-use plastic bags

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Sharjah will ban the use of single-use plastic bags and materials from January 1, 2024, the emirate's executive council said on Tuesday.

It follows a similar ban which was enforced in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

The council plans to gradually reduce the amount of single-use plastic products used in Sharjah's shops and restaurants from now until the full ban comes into force.

As of October 1, sales outlets in the emirate will have to levy a minimum charge of 25 fils on all single-use plastic bags.

Businesses will be responsible for informing customers of the tariff imposed and educating them on the dangers of plastic waste on the environment.

Per the plans, the council will also encourage stores to offer reusable products, such as tote and canvas bags, as an alternative to single-use bags.

These products will have to meet certain technical specifications and be approved for use by the Department of Municipalities Affairs.

The council said it will prohibit the trade, produce, offer or import of single-use plastic bags and materials altogether, from 2024.

The Department of Municipalities Affairs will take the lead in laying down the necessary plans and policies to enforce the provisions of the resolution.

Over the next few months it will prepare and begin awareness and educational programmes on the importance of shifting from consuming single-use plastic bags and materials to other sustainable and multi-use alternatives.

Fall in single-use plastic consumption

Earlier this summer, Dubai also introduced a 25 fils charge for single-use plastic bags shortly after Abu Dhabi banned their use in retail outlets.

The emirate's executive council said the charge in Dubai will be evaluated in stages before single-use plastic bags are banned completely in two years' time.

Since the charge was imposed, it has led to a sharp drop in plastic use among shoppers in the emirate.

Supermarket chain Spinneys reported a 90 per cent reduction in single-use bags being sold, compared with the volume that was given away before the 25 fills ($0.07) charge was brought in on July 1.

Tom Harvey, the commercial general manager of Spinneys, which has more than 65 outlets in the UAE, said shoppers were embracing green-friendly alternatives to single-use bags.

Updated: August 23, 2022, 6:43 PM
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