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UAE to impose blanket ban on single-use plastic from 2024

The UAE on Tuesday announced a blanket ban on single-use plastic shopping bags to take effect next year, the latest initiative aimed at reducing pollution.  State news agency Wam said a ministerial resolution prohibits the import, production and circulation of single-use plastic shopping bags from next year.

This will serve as the prelude to banning products made of single-use materials. From January 1, 2026, the country will ban plastic or foam products like cups, plates, cutlery, containers and boxes. The government said authorities, retailers, suppliers and consumers should prepare with “suitable, sustainable and multi-use alternatives in all shopping stores, retail stores and sales outlets on a permanent basis”, the agency reported. The authorities concerned are urged to develop mechanisms to reduce the production of single-use materials to package items including ear buds, cigarettes, wet wipes and balloons, among others. The pan-UAE measures aim to protect the environment from plastic pollution. The decision limits the consumption of plastic and regulates its use at the federal level. At least four emirates have announced bans or regulated the use of plastic so far. In Abu Dhabi, a ban on single-use plastics went into effect on June 1, while in Dubai, since July 1, retailers have been charging 25 fils per bag. Sharjah introduced a 25-fil tariff per single-use plastic bags from October 1, 2022, with a ban all set to go into effect from January 1, 2024. Umm Al Quwain banned single-use plastics from January 1, 2023.
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