Dubai: Some firms have already stopped using single-use bags ahead of restrictions – News

Starting July 1, consumers will have to pay 25 fils for single-use bags



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Published: Thu 30 Jun 2022, 5:57 PM

Though the tariff on single-use bags will come into effect from tomorrow (July 1) in Dubai, some companies have stopped using single-use plastic long ago to contribute to improving the local environment.

Starting July 1, 2022, Dubai will levy a Dh0.25 tariff on single-use bags in order to improve the environment. In two years, single-use bags will be completely banned by the emirate and replaced with eco-friendly reusable bags in the emirate. Abu Dhabi also took a decision on similar lines and banned single-use bags from June 1, 2022.

Retailers in Dubai have put in place plans to implement levy and offer alternative eco-friendly bags to consumers from July 1.

However, some hotels, retailers and fuel suppliers in Dubai embarked on this journey much earlier in order to contribute to reducing plastic.

Fuel retailer Emirates National Oil Company Group (Enoc) Group, has prevented approximately 14 tonnes of plastic waste from entering landfills and saved roughly Dh400,000 due to the elimination of single-use plastics since 2020.

In March 2020, the group announced to phase out single-use plastics and now it has achieved a 100 per cent single-use plastic-free environment across its business units and corporate departments.

In June 2022, it banned single-use plastics across its operations as well as in its head office to align with the UAE’s vision of promoting an inclusive green economy.

The ban included straws, cups, single-use water bottles, plastic shopping bags, plastic bottle caps, food wrappers, plastic lids, stirrers, and foam takeaway containers.

“As a leading energy player, we understand the importance of implementing sustainable best practices across our network, such as the elimination of single-use plastics. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of Enoc’s decision-making process, and we aim to be a model for organizations in positively impacting our communities,” said Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, Enoc.

As alternatives to single-use plastic items used in its operations, the fuel retailer has switched over to more sustainable items such as paper bags, wooden straws, water dispensers with reusable bottles and recyclable lids.

The UAE’s second telecom operator has also implemented multiple initiatives to encourage employees to be environmentally cautious and support the transformation towards a more sustainable society. These include the use of recyclable bags, hybrid energy solutions, e-Billing and recycling office waste.

Du uses 100 per cent recyclable bags at its retail stores to promote the use of more environmentally-friendly substitutes and engage the employees and the customers to raise public awareness.

As part of its efforts to reduce plastic, Grandiose Supermarkets has not been using plastic bags at checkout since 2019 and all shopping carts are made using recycled ocean plastic and the retailer.

The retailer has saved 15.12 million tons of plastic since going plastic-free both in-store and e-commerce sales.

“Grandiose shopping trolleys are made from ghost fishing nets and ropes which when left at sea cause pollution through toxic gas emissions and statistically kill 100,000 marine animals each year. Fishing nets and ropes are made of polypropylene that are recycled to produce a sustainable range of trolleys with 25 per cent recycled content,” the company said.

It said every kilogram of pure polypropylene equates to 2.5kg of CO2, which, when recycled, is reduced to 0.3kg – an 80 per cent reduction and contributes to the effort of reducing the carbon footprint.

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, has prevented 60,000 plastic bottles weighing 684kgs from entering the ocean.

The initiative was in partnership with Ocean Bottle which collects 11.4 kgs of plastic from the ocean or the removal of the equivalent of 1000 x 500 ml single-use plastic bottles from the world’s oceans for every one of their bottles purchased. Locals in coastal communities then exchange this plastic for money through a regulated banking system so they can get access to microfinance, tuition, healthcare and other key necessities.

Since the start of 2022, DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island has also helped reduce carbon emissions equivalent to 2,961 cars off the road, water consumption equivalent to 332 Olympics swimming pools as well as lowered energy equivalent to 1,696 houses powered.

Pieter van Beugen, general manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, has said that the aim is to explore innovative opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint in order to develop a robust circular economy.

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