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Deadline set to go green in UAE

Plastic bag makers have until end of 2011 to register products as biodegradable

A family uses a special jute bag, which is made from a plant and is biodegradable
Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News archive
A family uses a special jute bag, which is made from a plant and is biodegradable. More and more people are becoming aware of the dangers to the environment of using plastic bags.
05 Gulf News

Dubai: In a major step to boost the protection of the country's environment and stop the use of harmful material, manufacturers of plastic bags will have until the end of the year to register their products as biodegradable, according to a deadline set by the Ministry of Environment and Water.

An ingredient which can be added to the plastic bag production line has been approved by the ministry and is now widely available on the market, said Dr Mariam Al Shenasi, executive director at the ministry.


"It should be very easy now for manufacturers to make the switch," Al Shenasi told Gulf News. "We started the campaign two years ago and sent out reminders six months ago. It is time to take action."

Forty-eight per cent of private sector companies in the UAE, such as supermarkets, that use plastic bags have already switched to biodegradable bags in line with a federal decree issued in 2009 to rid the UAE of plastic bags by 2013, she said.

Gulf News started a Say No To Plastic Bags campaign in 2008 to raise awareness to the negative impacts of plastic on the environment. Jute bags were handed out to readers across the UAE before a second campaign, Go Green, was launched in 2009.



Latest Comment

This vacation was spent in Simla, India. I was very impressed to find that they use no plastic bags at all but cloth bags (a kind of tissue bag) instead as carry bags. Even in other parts of India before modernity set in, cloth bags were being used to carry groceries which were wrapped in old newspaper-bags or newspaper wraps tied with jute threads. Milk used to be sold in steel containers brought in by the customers unlike the plastic bags which are being used to sell milk these days. I wish the UAE take stern measures against the use of plastic and really help towards going green. Plastic bottles are a hindrance as well. Why can't we use juice bottles (made of glass) which can be reused instead? Life has been made easy but the after effects may be dangerous and beyond expectation otherwise.

Agniyah Shaikh

2 October 2011 17:56jump to comments