Hala Al Khayyat (Abu Dhabi)
From tomorrow, Wednesday, single-use plastic shopping bags will no longer be available on the market after the introduction of the ban, but there will be reusable bags with prices starting from half a dirham per bag.
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi advises consumers to use the multi-purpose bags and take them with them from home or the car to avoid paying a price for these types of bags if they were previously sold through the outlet.
It is noteworthy that baggage fees are added to the purchase invoice just like any other item listed on the invoice at the time of purchase, and there is no limit to the number of multipurpose bags sold to the consumer.
Tomorrow, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi will conduct a field tour of the markets to ensure the availability of alternatives to the banned bags, and will intensify awareness campaigns targeting different segments of society.
The multifunctional alternative bags must be more than 57 micrometers thick, made of biodegradable plastic and have the advantage that they can be reused 4 to 10 times in a row.
Shops in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi have pledged to support the implementation of the single-use plastics policy in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, launched in March 2020 by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and its legislation, to improve the cleanliness of the marine environment. and terrestrial environment of the emirate of single-use plastic waste. Express their commitment to collect fees for reusable bags, to reduce their consumption, use the fees to implement sustainable initiatives and contribute to the efforts of the government represented by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi to raise awareness of reducing reliance on single-use plastic products.
The implementation of the plastic bag ban policy in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi recognizes the effects of single-use plastic waste on marine and wild species and birds that die from eating plastic materials, and the human food chain as a result of the ingress of plastic particles and the associated effects on public health and the deterioration of public health The marine and terrestrial environment and economic activities resulting from the proliferation of waste, as well as the negative impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet in in general and the visual pollution caused by the volatilization of these materials.
Waste spilled on beaches
Sheikha Al Mazrouei, Acting Executive Director of the Integrated Environmental Planning and Policies Sector at the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, indicated that the Authority has identified a number of products that represent the largest percentage of waste leaking to beaches, and these products are classified into products with alternatives and others without alternatives. In the procedures for each category according to specific priorities and accordingly, the option to ban only single-use plastic bags was chosen, with a large number of exceptions, as this is currently not an alternative.
And she indicated that the ban decision will not include types of single-use plastic bags that have no alternatives, including bags intended for medicines in pharmacies, roll bags of vegetables, meat, fish and chicken, grain bags, bread bags “button bags”. “, large shopping bags designed for fashion, bags Electronic gadgets and toys, garbage bags in various sizes and types.
The UAE consumes 11 billion plastic bags every year
Figures indicate that the UAE consumes 11 billion plastic bags annually, which equates to 1182 plastic bags per year on an individual level, while the global average per person is 307 bags. Studies show that 50% of dead camels have eaten plastic materials, and 86% of sea turtles found dead on beaches have eaten plastic materials, and it takes 400 years for single-use bags to decompose and thousands of years for their negative effects.
She said: “On the current path, and without measures similar to what (the authority) is doing, it is expected that by 2050 there will be one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish,” noting that the authority is working with the Development Department promote the concepts of a circular economy through the recovery and recycling of materials.