Dubai to impose levy on single-use bags from July 1

A price on single-use bags to be implemented in Dubai from next month onwards to bring a change in customer behaviour said authorities.

A price on single-use bags to be implemented in Dubai from next month onwards to bring a change in customer behaviour said authorities.

Under this new law, a mandatory tariff on all single-use bags will be imposed from July 1.

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It will be applied to all one-time-use bags made of paper, plastic, biodegradable plastic, as well as plant-based biodegradable materials, which are about 57 micrometres thick.

In an interview, Imad Juma Mohammed, studies and permit section manager at Dubai Municipality, stated that the purpose is to end single-use bags ultimately.

He stated, “Our government is aware of the welfare of future generations around all sectors, as is clear in the determined efforts of the UAE and Dubai to save the environment and make Dubai a leader in sustainability.”

From July 1, the executive council’s decision will be implemented to impose a fee of 25 fils per bag on single-use bags, seeking to ban such bags altogether within two years.

He further said, “Stores are not obliged to deliver free alternatives as the overall goal is to cause a change in consumer behaviour to conserve the environment for future generations in Dubai.”

All stores must apply the charge for every single-use bag, and a different tariff can be imposed on reusable alternatives.

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The levy is the initial step towards a complete ban on single-use plastic bags in Dubai within two years. Four months have been given to retailers to make the change.

Abu Dhabi was the first place in the Middle East to ban single-use plastic bags on June 1 completely.

Other options being given to shoppers include thicker traditional-look plastic bags, which are planned for use between four and ten times and can be recycled, paper bags, and sturdy “bag for life”-type reusable jute and woven alternatives.

The costs of the bags start at 50 fils ($0.13), rising to about Dh12 ($3.26) for large, hard-wearing jute bags.

Tariq Saeed

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