By Elsa Baxter
In a bid to prevent environmental damage all plastic bags will be phased out by 2012.
Plastic shopping bags will be completely phased out in the UAE by 2012, officials have ruled.
The UAE Cabinet decree has endorsed the proposal to help prevent environmental damage, Gulf News reported.
Plastic bags take hundreds of years to degrade, so in a bid to reduce waste officials have banned their use from 2012. Instead, alternatives like paper or biodegradable plastic bags will have to be used.
"This initiative will include six main areas, the most important of which is education using all media, in all languages and to explain the negative impact of misusing plastic bags," said Hunaida Qaid, head of the environmental education section at the Ministry of Environment and Water.
Efforts to curb the use of plastic bags have already been taken by some retailers.
Géant hypermarket was the first retailer in the emirate to introduce a deposit payment scheme for plastic bags in February 2008.
Meanwhile, Carrefore stocks re-usable carrier bags at its checkouts in a bid to encourage customers to re-use bags and reduce plastic waste.
This is excellent news indeed and the UAE authorities deserve congratulations for implementing this ban at long last!
This is an excellent initiative and I hope the same would apply to the UAE. However I don't understand why it cannot be enforced before 2012. It can be easily 2010 and will save 2 years of garbage bags polluting our country
Sorry I read Bahrain and noticed it was UAE. However I still think it should be enforced earlier than 2012
This is indeed to be welcomed that UAE government has decided to taken the step in the right direction. Plastics bags have indeed been used in mammoth proportions. A single household takes home more plastic bags then the actual shopping things sometimes. However, considering the ill effects of plastics environmentally, efforts needs to be paced up by both the Government and the civil society.
I am proud to say that we at THE One have switched to 100% degradable bags this in all our UAE stores.
The best step taken by Geant and The One is to encourage the purchase of bags. So also the act of THE ONE, making the bag usable. The fact that a little bit of an additive is added to these bags to make them break down in 5 to 10 years is not a great deal. The jury is still out in many countries, as to whether these bags which become smaller plastic pieces (and that action stops in a landfill) are good or a worse evil.
Really great idea and of course it should also be banned in other Gulf countries. I think Sultanate Of Oman will do this next because it's a good green and country. I like this to happen in the rest of the world.