The ban on single-use plastic bags in Abu Dhabi will come into effect on June 1, Wednesday, following the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) announcement.
Last week, a group of senior executives from major retail outlets in Abu Dhabi signed a voluntary declaration supporting the implementation of the single-use plastic policy.
The retailers are committed to cooperating and securing alternatives, resources, and financing to support environmental protection. They said they were looking at alternatives to single-use plastic bags, which are more sustainable and eco-friendlier.
The EAD launched the single-use of plastics policy in March 2020, which, along with subsequent regulations, will help the emirate’s marine and land environment remain free from single-use plastic waste.
Khaleej Times has come up with a list of expected reusable bags provided by major supermarkets and tips on how to prepare for the ban by keeping the reusable bags and carrying them along wherever going shopping.
A reusable bag can be used several times compared to single-use paper or plastic shopping bags. They are alternatives to single-use plastic bags, which are more sustainable and eco-friendly. The reusable bags offered by supermarkets in Abu Dhabi include:
Jute bags: These are bags made of jute material, a natural fibre which is made from the outer stem and skin of a jute plant. Jute is an incredibly versatile material which also makes up hessian cloth, however, it is most commonly used now for making durable items such as eco-friendly bags. At Lulu Hypermarkets, each jute bag costs Dh7.5.
Biodegradable bags: These are bags that are capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms. Living things, like fungi or bacteria, can break them down. Biodegradable bags are made from plant-based materials like corn and wheat starch rather than petroleum. They are available at supermarkets at Dh2.5
New paper bags: These recyclable paper bags are made using different papers, including scrap newspapers. Some companies make these paper bags by reinforcing two layers of the paper with a lining of banana fibre or stitching thread using a resin derived from corn starch. As sheets of newspapers are porous in nature, it absorbs the resin better, making the bag leak-proof to a large extent.
Recycled paper bags: These paper bags are made from used paper which is reprocessed for different purposes. According to data from paperbag.org, in Europe, an average paper bag is reused or recycled 3.5 times before being completely discarded.
Cloth bags: These bags are made from 100 percent cotton, antibacterial and recyclable materials according to the raw materials used. Cloth bags can be used for many years. Lulu Hypermarkets will soon offer these cloth bags at Dh1 each.
Starch-based bags: These are fully biodegradable clear or white carrier bags made from compostable materials – including renewable, natural starches – for a reduced environmental impact. These quality carrier bags have an integral punch handle and are strong enough to help shoppers carry many items.