ABU DHABI, 31st May, 2022 (WAM) — The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) organised a workshop on Monday, to train inspectors from EAD, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi (DED), and Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), and introduce them to the Executive Regulations regarding single-use plastic products and their alternatives in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
This follows the launch of the integrated Single-Use Plastic Policy, which was approved by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EAD, in April 2022, that was initially introduced in 2020.
The virtual workshop covered tools to help effectively plan for the policy’s implementation, which will ensure the gradual reduction in consumption of single-use plastic products across Abu Dhabi, while encouraging the use of reusable products.
The ban decision excludes bags designated for medicines in pharmacies, bag rolls for vegetables, meat, fish, chicken, grains and bread (knot bags). This is in addition to exempting large shopping bags designed for fashion or electronic gadgets, toys, waste bags of different sizes and types, bags designated for keeping messages, postal parcels or magazines and newspapers. Also excluded are bags designated for transporting plants, flowers and laundry bags.
A ban will come into effect under the Emirate’s integrated Single-Use Plastic Policy on 1st June, 2022, which will prevent the sale of single-use plastic bags across all retailers.
The workshop also highlighted ways to implement the regulation provisions aimed at regulating the transition from the consumption of single-use plastic materials to the consumption of multi-use materials, which are less environmentally harmful during their life cycle.
The inspectors will monitor the implementation of the single-use bag ban as per technical standards approved by the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (ADQCC).
Some major retailers have recently signed a voluntary declaration to support the implementation of the new policy in Abu Dhabi and to secure alternatives, resources, and financing to support environmental protection.
These retailers and outlets will charge customers a fee for each of the alternative multi-use plastic shopping bags.
The Agency, in coordination with the concerned organisations, will prepare and implement programmes to educate community members about the importance of consuming durable and multi-use alternatives to single-use products.