80 per cent drop in single-use plastic bag consumption


Retailers in the UAE have reported a significant drop in the consumption of single-use plastic bags.

Abu Dhabi banned single-use plastic bags in June last year, with Dubai retailers charging 25 fils per bag. Later, the governments of Sharjah, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain followed suit.

“We have seen an 80 per cent reduction in single-use plastic bags since mid-2022,” Dr Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading told Khaleej Times. Most customers now rarely use plastic bags and bring their own reusable cloth bags instead, he said.

Christophe Orcet, head of commercial and operations of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: “Since July 2022, we have seen a decrease in the use of plastic bags by more than 70 per cent across our stores. We believe the impact of the nationwide ban on single-use plastic in 2024, will have a positive impact on reducing plastic consumption whilst encouraging sustainable shopping behaviours.

“We are confident that customers will welcome this change, and we remain committed to offering shoppers convenient and price-conscious options to make the transfer easier for our customers.”

The UAE government recently announced a blanket ban on single-use plastic bags all over the country, which will be enforced on January 21, 2024, in all stores and shopping malls. State news agency Wam said a ministerial resolution prohibits the import, production and circulation of single-use plastic shopping bags from next year. Following this, the country will impose a ban on all single-use materials that include both plastic and foam from January 1, 2026.

The bans are part of the UAE’s wider plans to combat climate change, promote sustainability initiatives in the run up to the Cop28 global climate talks, which the country is hosting this year, along with its goal to reach its net-zero targets by 2050.