Dubai has started on its drive to phase out the use of disposable plastic products with the announcement of a ban on single-use plastic bags and other products from January 1, 2024 .
This first stage applies to food delivery packaging materials, fruit and vegetable wrapping, thick plastic bags, plastic containers, and packaging materials, such as those used for plastic bottles, snack bags, wet wipes, and balloons.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council issued the resolution on Sunday December 31, 2023.
The reason for the ruling is to ‘protect the environment, encourage people to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle, and promote the culture of using reusable products to advance sustainable development’.
The ruling applies to both sellers and consumers within Dubai, covering private development zones and free zones and anyone caught breaking the new law will be subject to a fine of Dh200, which could be doubled for repeat offences.
However the ban excludes rolls of thin bags used in packing meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, bread, as well as garbage bags, and products intended for export. These items include single-use plastic shopping bags and single-use disposable plastic products.
Starting from January 1, 2025, products such as plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, styrofoam food containers, plastic straws and plastic cotton swabs, will be prohibited.
Then on January 1, 2026, the ban will extend to including plastic plates, plastic food containers, plastic tableware, and beverage cups and their plastic lids.