In line with enhancing environmental sustainability and encouraging individuals to reduce the excessive use of plastics, the Executive Council of Dubai has approved the policy to limit single-use bags by imposing a tariff of 25 fils on single-use bags used for carrying goods, starting from 1st July, 2022.
The tariff will be implemented in all stores across Dubai including, but not limited to, retail stores, textile and electronic stores, restaurants, pharmacies, online and e-commerce deliveries.
As a subsequent step, the policy will be evaluated over several stages until single-use carrier bags are completely banned within a span of two years, following the assessment of behavioural changes in the community. With sustainability becoming a global priority, changing the behaviour of the community to reduce the environmental footprint of individuals is crucial to preserve natural resources and environmental habitats. The changes will ultimately contribute to a healthier environment, which is vital to maintaining a sustainable and high quality of life.
The introduction of the policy to limit and ultimately ban single-use bags is aimed at strengthening Dubai’s sustainability objectives in line with global best practices for reducing the consumption of single-use bags. The tariff on single-use bags is currently in effect in over 30 countries, and a partial or complete ban has been implemented in more than 90 countries globally, reflecting the magnitude of international efforts to reduce the consumption of single-use bags.
Studies have proven over the past decades that there is an evident connection between the quality of the environment and the quality of life. Key areas of association include: the impact of air, water, and soil quality on physical health; the importance of natural habitats and biodiversity on mental health; and the significant role that the environment plays in the local economy across vital sectors such as tourism, entertainment, and food production, amongst others.
In line with the environmental objectives set out in the National Agenda, dedicated government entities have implemented programmes to enhance environmental protection and resource conservation. These include an integrated waste management strategy for the emirate; reducing harmful fishing practices such as banning the use of nets; and the enforcement of fees for waste disposal beginning January 2022, which significantly helps reduce waste production and dumping of waste in landfills.
The Dubai Government has also invested in several projects aimed at turning waste into resources. Furthermore, the government actively encourages the Dubai community to improve practices in sustainable waste segregation and disposal. These efforts contribute to providing a healthy environment as well as the conditions to encourage investments in sustainable waste and resource management, in line with the principles of a circular economy. These waste management efforts will fundamentally promote economic, environmental, and social sustainability while building an ecosystem that preserves natural resources, and supports the adoption of a green, low carbon economy in alignment with the Dubai Waste Management Strategy 2041, and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations for 2030.