Plastic in UAE: Full list of items that are banned; exemptions explained

In less than a year, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned across all stores and shopping malls

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 14 Jan 2023, 4:21 PM

The UAE has taken a giant step towards a greener future with the announcement of a nationwide ban on single-use plastic. In less than a year, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned across all stores and shopping malls.

What’s banned from January 1, 2024?

The import, production and circulation of single-use plastic bags of all kinds.


What’s banned from January 1, 2026?

Plastic or foam products like:

  • Cups
  • Plates
  • Cutlery
  • Containers
  • Boxes
  • Spoons
  • Forks
  • Knives
  • Straws
  • Stirrers.

Which products are exempted?

  • Thin bag rolls
  • Products that are to be exported or re-exported. These must be clearly labelled.
  • Bags made out of recycled materials in the country.

How life will change

Single-use materials will not be used to package items. Authorities are required to come up with alternatives to pack ear buds, cigarettes, wet wipes and balloons, among others.


Multi-use bags will be readily available in shopping centres and retail stores across the country.

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