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Fri 6 Nov 2009 11:13 AM

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Abu Dhabi to ban all plastic bags in shops by mid-2010

Offenders to face a hefty fine of not less than AED10,000 ($2723) - report.

Abu Dhabi to ban all plastic bags in shops by mid-2010

The Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi has finalised a draft resolution for banning use of plastic bags at shopping centers in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to a report on Thursday.

According to newswire WAM, Dr Badr Al Harahsha, director of the centre, has said that the resolution has been submitted to the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi for approval.

"If passed, the commercial shops will be granted a six month grace period to comply with the resolution. Plastic bags will be replaced with paper or cloth ones," he said while talking to Khaleej Times, WAM added.

Al Harahsha told the daily that "Offenders will face a hefty fine of not less than AED10,000 ($2723), we expect the resolution to go into force next year."

For this, the Abu Dhabi government will licence new laboratories on testing bags used in markets to ensure they are free of any hazardous materials harmful to public health.

"Plastic bags make up to 20 per cent of waste in Abu Dhabi emirate," the office revealed. He added that in a later stage, producers of plastic bags will be ordered to make environmentally-friendly products.

Abu Dhabi-based The National daily reported that the ban is expected by the middle of next year, pre-empting a

complete ban nationwide by about three years


It added that Nabil al Mudallal, senior engineer at the Centre of Waste Management, said the resolution was expected to be in effect by January 1.

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mohammed 10 years ago

Abu Dhabi has a very nice leadership. they know what to do and how to do it. Sure it'll be bad situation for the manufacturers but it will save the future of this country. The Arabic Gulf countries can do the same thing, and I hope that.

damien 10 years ago

What a great move to make on Abu Dhabis part and the UAE in 3 years. Ireland band the use of plastic bags in shops. Now you either bring your own bag or you get given your goods in either cardboard boxes or you buy a environmentally friendly bag from the counter. I am surprised that one of the major retailers did not take this step first to show environmental leadership. Plastic bottle are next to go. Note it is not known how long it actually takes to biodegrade a plastic bottle. Estimates range from 250 years to 1,000,000 years !!! and even when degraded are still harmful! Well done Abu Dhabi, love your work.

Sue 10 years ago

Yes, this is what everybody should do now. I hope this will be approved. Please rests of the Emirates think about it. Even people are not ready for this; they will accept and will follow the rules. Each correct step you take today will be great result for tomorrow.

JULIA 10 years ago

what will people use for garbage- just throw without any plastic bag also how will they conveniently carry shopping- plastic bags can be tied properly. it is better to invent substitute first

SUNIL 10 years ago

If banning plastic bags is made into law, this would be an outstanding accomplishment. Way to Go, Abu Dhabi... Garbage should be carried in (aluininium/ steel) containers and thrown directly into street garbage bins - this is quite usual back home. Yes, paper and cloth bags should be used for grocery. More trips may be required instead of the weekly once. Excellent way to get people to move and cut obesity...

Denise 10 years ago

A great decision! The Emirates Road, Dubai to RAK is littered with the evidence of the harm plastic bags do to the environment. They should be banned now!

Nick 10 years ago

This is a great decision. This will not only use less plastic and be better for the environment both from a litter point of view and harming animals etc, but it will also plant an environmentally conscious seed in the minds of so many who go about their day without any consideration for the environment or sustainability. Regarding the question about rubbish bags, Biodegradeable plastic bags can be used here. The bag will rot away after a couple of weeks and then some of the rubbish inside has a chance to rot rather than being trapped inside.

Chris J 10 years ago

In most countries where plastic has been banned, there has been a step back to paper bags at supermarkets used in the same quantities. We all forget that paper bags come from trees which are the lungs of the planet. It is better to teach people to use and dispose of plastic responsibly, than take our total survival mechanism away. Some will argue that the trees are cropped for this purpose, but we know that many countries will harvest anything that is growing to obtain illegal logs for useage. Let us heavily fine those who dispose of rubbish wherever they like, and address the real issue at the root.

Ali 10 years ago

I cant believe Chris was the first person to point out that paper bags also have an environmental cost in the form of chopped trees and the vast amount of water needed in paper making process. The main fault lies with people who throw plastic bags carelessly, they are often the same ones who throw their cigarettes from their car. Its an attitude to blame, so the message we get is that its ok to litter, so continue doing so with paper bags.

Roger 10 years ago

Paper bags also harm the environment (maybe worse than plastic). Paper bags cause the destruction of trees (not in great supply in the UAE) Plastic is a petrochemical product (Plentiful in the UAE). The solution is to educate the UAE residents to cleanup and not litter our roads and beaches with paper or plastic.