The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has initiated a ban on single-use plastic bags in the country from June 1. The EAD also organized a virtual workshop on Monday to impart training to inspectors from EAD, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi (DED), and Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), to help them implement the policy which will gradually scale down the use of single-use plastic products throughout the capital and promote alternative reusable products.
However, certain bags like those designated to carry medicines in pharmacies, laundry bags, bag rolls for vegetables, chicken, fish, meat, grains, and bread, have been exempted from the ban. Large shopping bags used to carry electronic gadgets and toys, waste packet bags, and those used to transport plants and flowers have also been exempted from the ban.
In March 2020, the EAD announced its decision to ban the use of all plastic bags by the end of 2021. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many of the ban policy measures were affected and delayed.
According to estimates, the UAE gets through 11 billion plastic bags annually which is more than a thousand per resident and approximately three times the global average.