UAE: Single-use plastic bag consumption drops 80%, say retailers

Impact on nationwide ban on single-use plastic in 2024 will have positive impact on reducing consumption, say traders

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File photo

Waheed Abbas

Published: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 6:27 PM

UAE retailers have recorded an 80 per cent drop in single-use bags consumption since Dubai and Abu Dhabi announced 25 fils charge on such bags in the middle of last year.

This comes as the UAE government on Tuesday announced a blanket on single-use plastic bags in the country from January 2024, giving the retailers and other companies time to prepare for convenient and price-conscious alternative options to shoppers in the country.

In Abu Dhabi, a ban on single-use plastics went into effect on June 1, while in Dubai, since July 1, retailers have been charging 25 fils per bag.

From January 1, 2024, there will be a blanket ban on single-use plastics across the UAE.

“Since July 2022, we have seen a decrease in the use of plastic bags by more than 70 per cent across our stores. We believe the impact of the nationwide ban on single-use plastic in 2024, will have a positive impact on reducing plastic consumption whilst encouraging sustainable shopping behaviours,” said Christophe Orcet, head of commercial and operations of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

“We are confident that customers will welcome this change, and we remain committed to offering shoppers convenient and price-conscious options to make the transfer easier for our customers,” said Orcet.

Dr Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director, Al Adil Trading, said most of the shoppers now rarely use single-use plastic bags and instead bring their own eco-friendly bags.

“We were aware that from next year onwards, the single-use plastic bag will be banned therefore we were taking precautions and preparing to be in line with this government initiative. Therefore, we provide home deliveries to customers in eco-friendly bags so there is no use of plastic bags,” he said.

“We have seen an 80 per cent reduction in single-use plastic bags since mid-2022,” Al Adil Trading chairman said.

Damien Corcoran, CEO, Grandiose Supermarket, said they have put an internal ban on single-use plastic shopping bags and also invested in shopping trolleys made of recycled ocean plastic alongside energy-efficient refrigeration and cold storage.


Grandiose was the first retail chain to completely replace single-use plastic bags at check out with paper bags in 2017, saving over 15 million plastic bags, which could otherwise kill 100,000 marine animals each year.

“In 2022, we also launched a completely new delivery fleet of electric and energy-efficient bikes with controlled emissions to save over 75 per cent of exhaustible energy as compared to the previous fleet,” he said.

Praising the initiative, Kamal Vachani, group director and partner at Al Maya Group, said the UAE has always been the first in all eco-friendly saving initiatives.

“We together would like to save the planet with this fantastic move and take the initiative forward,” he said.

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