Explained: Which single-use plastics are banned in Abu Dhabi under new policy, certain bags exempted

The new rule goes into effect from June 1, 2022


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 28 Apr 2022, 5:04 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Apr 2022, 10:37 PM

The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) has outlined which products are banned under single-use plastic policy, which will be implemented as of June 1, 2022, to support sustainability efforts across Abu Dhabi.

Authorities in the Capital had earlier this month announced that the decision to ban single-use plastics was based on the Emirate's integrated single-use plastic policy that was introduced in 2020.

EAD said through the implementation of the region’s first integrated policy, it plans to gradually reduce the amount of single-use plastic products consumed across Abu Dhabi and encourage the use of reusable products.

EAD says it was planning to implement measures to reduce demand for about 16 single-use plastic products that include cups, stirrers, lids, straws, cutlery, plastic bottles, food containers, cotton buds, crisp packages, sweet wrappers, cigarette butts, wet wipes and sanitary items, sticks for balloons, balloons and microbeads (including nurdles).

In the latest notice issued by the Abu Dhabi Media Office, authorities clarified that currently, only single-use plastic grocery shopping bags will be banned starting June, 2022.

For other types of bags used in supermarkets, EAD added: 'Thin bags like the ones used for meat or vegetables are exempted.'

“Trash bags and bin liners or pharmacy bags are also not included in the ban stated in the regulation.”

On what alternatives can be used when grocery shopping, authorities explained that reusable bags that have the least environmental impact will be offered to shoppers by retailers regardless of the material they are made of.

“You will also be able to bring your own reusable bags for shopping,” EAD further added.

Officials stressed that currently there were no environmental charges on the alternatives to plastic bags. “We encourage shoppers to bring their own bags and avoid purchase, if any”.


Major retailers, shopping malls and pharmacies earlier told Khaleej Times that they are keen on supporting the government's policy and were looking at alternatives to single-use of plastic bags, which are more sustainable and eco-friendlier.

Some of the alternatives to single-use plastic bags are jute bags, biodegradable bags, new paper bags, recycled paper bags, cloth bags and starch-based bags.


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