As Dubai is all set to introduce a 25 fils ($0.07) charge for one-time use bags, authorities have clarified that this does not only apply to plastic bags.
The compulsory tariff will be applied from July 1 to all single-use bags, including paper, plastic, plant-based biodegradable and biodegradable plastic bags that are almost 57 micrometres thick, said Dubai Municipality on Friday, May 20.
All stores and shopping centres must impose a charge for every single-use bag, and a different tariff can be applied to reusable bags if given by the store.
Stores are not bound to provide free alternatives, as the mission is to push a change in consumer behaviour to safeguard the environment, said the municipality.
The charge is the initial step to complete the ban on the one-time use of plastic bags in Dubai in the next two years. Retailers will be getting four months to roll out the charge. The 25 fils charge will be added to the bill.
The charge will be applied in clothing, retail, pharmacies and restaurants, as well as on delivery and e-commerce orders.
There would be no limit on the number of single-time use bags to be sold to customers at the time of checkout, but staff will be trained to rationalise the use of carrier bags while packing and delivering the purchase, stated the officials.
Dubai recommends that the retailers of the private sector contribute the money to support sustainable initiatives, either via the company or local community and environment associations. Bags that are disposable are a major source of pollution and litter in the environment.
“It should be noted that alternatives usually have a larger environmental footprint than the plastic bags but are more comfortable to manage at the disposal stage and cause less environmental as well as health damage, provided they are used properly,” the municipality said in a release.