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Dubai bans all single-use bags from June 1; fines and exemptions disclosed.

In less than three months, Dubai will enact a city-wide ban on single-use bags, encompassing both plastic and paper types. The emirate previously mandated businesses to apply a 25-fil charge on single-use plastic bags from the beginning of this year. However, starting June 1, all single-use bags will be prohibited across retail outlets in Dubai, with stores not obliged to provide free alternatives.

This policy extends to single-use bags used for carrying goods, and consumers are encouraged to bring their own reusable carriers.

In an awareness guide published by the Dubai Municipality on Thursday, it was clarified that the banned bags include biodegradable ones. The municipality emphasized that biodegradable bags necessitate specific recycling stations, as when left in landfills, they degrade into small plastic particles (microplastics), which can harm wildlife and enter the food chain.

Certain bags are exempted from the policy, including those used for bread, products packaged online, trash bin liners, wrapping for vegetables, meats, fish, and chicken, as well as laundry bags, electronic device bags, garbage bags, and grain bags.

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Penalties for non-compliance with the policy include a financial fine of Dh200, which can double in case of repeated offenses, with a maximum fine of Dh2,000. Shoppers are encouraged to report non-compliant stores to the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism.

The municipality's guide, available online in Arabic and English, addresses common questions consumers and businesses may have about the ban. It also offers insights into eco-friendly alternatives to plastics and tips for fostering sustainability.

The guide targets individuals, public sector entities, private businesses, corporations, and institutions alike. Mohammed Alrayees, head of Waste Strategy and Projects Department at Dubai Municipality, emphasized the guide's launch as a means to support the adoption of sustainable practices among all stakeholders.

March 29, 2024 3:19 p.m. 4839

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