UAE retailers gear up for new single-use plastic ban policy


June 1, 2022 | By RetailME Bureau

The ban on single plastic, which comes into effect today in Abu Dhabi and from July 1st in Dubai, comes as a welcome move to limit single plastic bag use, in order to promote sustainability.

Dubai will start charging 25fils per bag to bring down the use of single-use plastic bags, with the aim to bring down the sale and usage of plastic bag in the coming 2 years.

Jute bags, new and recycled paper bags, biodegradable bags etc. are some of the eco-friendly options that can be used by consumers and is being currently offered by many retailers.

Carrefour, owned and operated by the Majid Al Futtaim, has announced that it will offer a sustainable alternative to plastic bags in response to the new government policy. The leading retailer will provide plant-based bags made of starch to eliminate plastic from its checkout counters altogether.

“With the implementation of the new policies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is our duty to ensure customers have the most convenient, cost-efficient options. The starch bag, which costs only 25 fils, is an industry first in this region and we are confident that it will be widely implemented by more retailers in the future. We fully embrace the new government direction, which bans single-use plastic bags in Abu Dhabi. Through constant innovation and close collaboration with our government and partners, we can continue to deliver the best shopping experience for our customers,” said Bernardo Perloiro, Chief Operating Officer UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

In Dubai, Spinneys has committed to following the same ban on single-use plastics as Abu Dhabi and will be implementing the removal of all disposable bags at checkout. This includes bags made of plastic, paper, biodegradable plastic and plant-based biodegradable materials. The ban will take place in Dubai stores from 1st July 2022. Spinneys will also reward shoppers for reusing, by giving customers 25 fils off their total grocery bill every time they bring a bag back to store with them when they shop. This is as opposed to charging 25 fils to use a disposable plastic bag. The retailer hopes this will incentivise its customers to consciously move towards the use of reusable bags only.

“Spinneys is dedicated to supporting the growth of the circular economy in the UAE, which is why we back the UAE’s single-use policy and are going the extra step to enforce the removal of single-use plastic followed by paper bags across all our stores. Sustainability lies at the heart of Spinneys’ business strategy and we are committed to supporting the national target to completely ban all disposable bags in the UAE by 2024. We will continue to introduce rewards and initiatives to help our customers adopt an eco-friendlier way of living too, like our new premium shopper in collaboration with Peahead Eco. It’s great to see the single-use plastic bags being re-purposed into something practical and stylish,” said Sophie Corcut, Sustainability Manager at Spinneys.

Union Coop has developed a comprehensive strategy for implementing the initiative in stages, starting with consumer awareness.

“Consumers do not have to worry about anything as Union Coop will offer them several options instead of single-use plastic bags, including cloth bags that can be used multiple times. The best part is that these are washable and recyclable,” said Mohammed Berregad Al Falasi, Admin Affairs Director, Union Coop. 

Lulu Group International has also expressed their support of the campaign and in furthering the cause of sustainability and eco-consciousness.

“This landmark initiative is going to be a major game-changer in the fight against the negative impact of plastic on our precious environment and Lulu Group is fully committed to make “Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy” a grand success,” said Saifee Rupawala, CEO of Lulu Group International.

Shoppers are being very supportive of this rule and are looking forward to it. Hopefully in the upcoming 2 years’ time we see the change we all are expecting from the plastic ban and ensure a more sustainable environment.

 

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