Dubai’s plastic bag tariff to make shoppers more eco-conscious – News

The tariff comes into effect just before International Plastic Bag Free Day, which is celebrated on July 3 and is a global initiative that aims to eliminate the use of plastic bags.



Published: Fri, Jul 1, 2022, 6:50 p.m.

Many buyers choose to use plastic bags after a shopping spree without a second thought, explains Jérôme Viricel, general manager of RECAPP at Veolia Middle East.

However, by imposing a tariff and including plastic bags in the receipt, customers will be incentivized to ditch single-use plastics for more sustainable alternatives such as paper and cotton bags.

“The tariff will make buyers more aware of the environmental impact of the choices they make,” he told the Khaleej Times.

According to a report by the World Government Summit, the average person in the UAE consumes 1,184 plastic bags per year, far exceeding the global average of 307 bags per person. Viricel said this highlights the importance of the new tariff and the potential ban on single-use plastic bags within two years in Dubai.

“Plastic bags create huge amounts of waste in the environment and are harmful to land and sea animals. These bags take hundreds of years to degrade and they can release toxic substances that contribute to the pollution of air and health issues,” he said. “The UAE is making concerted efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated, positioning itself as a regional leader in this area. In Abu Dhabi, the he ban on single-use plastics already came into force on June 1 and is expected to be followed by other initiatives to reduce plastic use.

He also highlighted several other innovative public and private sector initiatives that are helping to divert plastics from landfills and recycle them into a more circular economy. For example, the Dubai Can sustainability campaign launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, has led to the reduction in use of over one million bottles. single-use plastic water bottle, within just 100 days of the campaign launch.

In the private sector, RECAPP by Veolia – the UAE’s first free recycling app – has collected more than 300 tonnes of recyclable waste, including plastic bottles and aluminum cans, diverting it from landfills since its launch in January 2021.

Viricel says taking a community-based approach to sustainability means putting the community and its needs at the heart of the sustainability strategy. “It means empowering people to lead more sustainable lifestyles by empowering them to make more environmentally conscious choices. This approach will encourage individuals to do their part for the environment and lead to more conscious communities.

This community-centric approach is fundamental to RECAPP, which was created to support residents of the UAE in their efforts to lead more sustainable lives, he explained. “Having started our operations in Abu Dhabi, we have since expanded to Dubai and our ultimate goal is to bring our recycling service to the entire UAE, for households as well as the corporate sector.”

Maryam Al Mansoori, Managing Director of Rebound Plastic Exchange – a platform that allows B2B buyers and sellers to exchange plastic while increasing the efficiency of large-scale plastic recycling – also shared her thoughts on the new tariff, while highlighting the need for better plastic recycling education.

“If we change our ways, we can make a difference and protect our environment, and now is the time to start,” she said. “Plastic recycling begins in the home, through to the overall collection, recycling and reuse system. No business operates in isolation and no business can solve the plastic waste problem alone. »

She added that there are significant opportunities for companies to influence their wider environment. In particular, companies can engage with their suppliers, highlight their own priorities and values ​​to their business partners and encourage them to embrace the same values ​​while enabling local communities to derive monetary value from plastics, thereby contributing create new economic opportunities.

“Current challenges are the result of a lack of awareness and incentives to recycle plastics,” she noted. These may include insufficient infrastructure at the national level to produce and reuse efficiently; globally inconsistent regulatory frameworks when it comes to dealing with recycled plastics; and the lack of funding and investment to raise and improve recycling infrastructure in developing countries.

“The UAE is committed to creating a sustainable future for generations to come and Rebound is another example of the UAE’s global scale project as it enables multinational companies to access raw materials in high-quality plastic, certified and traceable – thus creating a market entry point for many countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates,” she added. “Overall, these initiatives have led to a change in consumer behavior that will become our way of life in the near future.As a major player in the global movement towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly value chains, the UAE Arab States are on the right track to change mentalities, towards circularity.

She stressed that there is now a need to drive rapid and radical transformation across the region with the support of governments, the private sector and the public sector. “Public-private partnerships are a key catalyst for achieving circularity and building sustainable economies; and, at Rebound, we combine such opportunities by supporting government commitments to Basel Convention amendments while participating responsibly in the plastics trade.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

Bryce K. Locke