Dubai Bans Single-Use Bags From June 1, 2024
July 25, 2024
Sustainability UAE

Dubai Bans Single-Use Bags From June 1, 2024

With Certain Exemptions Made

Commencing on June 1, 2024, all businesses in Dubai emirate will be prohibited from selling single-use bags that are 57 micrometres thick or less. This measure, though challenging, is a significant stride towards preserving the environment and reducing plastic waste while enhancing businesses’ reputations as environmentally responsible entities.

This initiative, in line with the resolution set forth by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai’s Executive Council, is a testament to the crucial role businesses play in curbing plastic waste and fostering a recycling culture.

Single-Use Bags
Plastic litter in a desert dunes ecosystem in Dubai emirate. Credit: Arnold Pinto

To encourage behaviour change for environmental conservation among Dubai residents, the ban applies to single-use plastic bags, paper bags, bags made from biodegradable plant materials and biodegradable bags that are 57 micrometres thick and less.

It is important to note that the June 1 ban does not apply to certain types of bags. These include bread bags, trash bin liners, wrapping bags for vegetables, meats, fish, and chicken, bags that are 58 micrometres thick, laundry bags, electronic device bags, garbage bags, and rain bags.

The ban also does not include bags used for products bought online.

Biodegradable Bags

According to Dubai Municipality, biodegradable bags are included in the June 1 ban because they require a specific recycling process. They do not decompose entirely, leaving microplastics behind that could enter the human food chain.

Single-Use Bags
Dubai Municipality’s single-use plastic products awareness poster. Credit: Dubai Municipality

The June 1 ban pertains to single-use bags used for carrying goods. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their reusable carriers when they purchase items at retail outlets in Dubai, as businesses are not required to provide free alternatives to shoppers. In this respect, Dubai Municipality encourages reusable bags that can be used for an extended period.

Single-Use Bags
Discarded single-use plastic products in a UAE wadi ecosystem. Credit: Arnold Pinto

Failure to comply with the policy from June 1 will result in a financial penalty of AED200, double for repeated offences, with the maximum fine capped at AED2,000. This penalty structure ensures fairness and encourages businesses to adopt sustainable practices. Shoppers are encouraged to report non-compliant stores to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

From January 1, 2025, the ban will be extended to plastic stirrers, Styrofoam food containers, plastic table covers, plastic cotton swabs, plastic straws, and single-use Styrofoam cups. Styrofoam is a trademarked brand (DuPont) of closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam.

New Guide

Dubai Municipality has released a comprehensive guide for individuals, public sector entities, private businesses, corporations, and institutions in Dubai that serves as a comprehensive resource for embracing sustainable practices.

Single-Use Bags
Single-use plastic bags contaminate marine ecosystems globally. Credit: Naja Bertolt Jensen

The municipality’s guide, accessible online in Arabic and English, addresses crucial inquiries from consumers and businesses regarding the ban on single-use plastic products. It also underscores eco-friendly alternatives to plastics and provides tips for enhancing sustainability.

The guide includes an FAQ section to address common queries and suggest alternative eco-friendly solutions to single-use plastics, ensuring a smooth transition to a more sustainable future.

Single-Use Bags
Dubai will ban single-use Styrofoam cups starting on January 1, 2025. Credit: Arnold Pinto

Mohammed Alrayees, Head of the Waste Strategy and Projects Department at Dubai Municipality, reiterated Dubai’s dedication to becoming a global leader in sustainability: “Dubai Municipality is steadfast in its commitment to transforming Dubai into a leading and sustainable global city.

“This comprehensive guide has been launched to answer questions on single-use plastics and green alternatives, aligning with our support for all individuals, businesses, and institutions to adopt sustainable practices and contribute to a more sustainable Dubai.”

Single-Use Bags
Dubai will ban plastic table covers starting on January 1, 2025. Credit: Arnold Pinto

By encouraging businesses and individuals to embrace everyday eco-conscious practices, Dubai Municipality aims to safeguard the environment and nurture the growth of a circular economy, promoting sustainable development and the preservation of natural resources for future generations.

Under the banner of its #DubaiMoreSustainable campaign, initially launched at COP28 in Dubai, Dubai Municipality is intensifying its efforts to provide comprehensive support for businesses and individuals in Dubai.

Single-Use Bags
Businesses play a key role in curbing plastic waste. Credit: Arnold Pinto

By equipping companies and residents with the knowledge and resources needed to navigate the single-use plastics ban, Dubai continues to set an example for cities worldwide, demonstrating the potential for meaningful change through collective action and a steadfast commitment to sustainability.

Featured image: The ban in Dubai, effective June 1, 2024, applies to single-use bags that are 57 micrometres thick or less. Credit: Morgan Vander Hart

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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