Dubai announces a ban on single-use plastics, effective January 1

Dubai has taken a significant step towards environmental sustainability by implementing a ban on single-use plastic bags and products starting from January 1, 2024.

Dubai Implements Ban on Single-Use Plastics

This initiative, which is being directed by the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, covers all types of items, including those that are disposable and those that are recycled, irrespective of their material composition.

Scope of the Ban

The ban covers a wide array of items, including single-use plastic and non-plastic products, food delivery packaging materials, fruit and vegetable wrapping, thick plastic bags, plastic containers, and packaging materials made partially or entirely of plastic, such as those used for plastic bottles, snack bags, wet wipes, balloons, and balloon sticks. The ban applies to sellers and consumers within Dubai, including private development zones and free zones like the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Exclusions and Phased Bans

Certain items are exempted from the ban, such as thin bags used for packing specific goods, garbage bags, and products intended for export or re-export. However, the phased bans will include products like plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, styrofoam food containers, plastic straws, plastic cotton swabs, plastic plates, plastic food containers, plastic tableware, and beverage cups with plastic lids over the coming years.

Fines for Violations

Violators of the ban will face fines, starting at Dh200, with a doubling of the penalty for repeated offenses within one year, up to a maximum of Dh2,000. Individuals can contest decisions by submitting grievances within ten working days from the notification date.

Objectives of the Decision

The decision aims to protect the natural environment, local biodiversity, and animal wealth while encouraging sustainable and environmentally friendly behavior among community members. It also seeks to promote the use of recycled products, align with circular economy practices, and regulate the use and recycling of single-use and plastic products.

Collaborative Efforts

All relevant authorities, entities, and consumers are mandated to collaborate in developing and implementing mechanisms to reduce the production and consumption of single-use products. Sellers are required to actively participate in initiatives targeting the reduction of plastic materials, offering specified reusable alternatives at reasonable prices.

Dubai's decision reflects a commitment to fostering a sustainable and eco-friendly future, emphasizing collective responsibility in preserving the environment.

Read also: Dubai Authority announces New Year alternative parking and metro closure

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