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Dubai’s ban on all single-use bags from June 1: Know the fines and rules

Update from municipality explains what is covered, which sectors must implement new policy

Stores are not obligated to provide free alternative bags; customers must use bags exempt from the prohibited list
Image Credit: X/@DMunicipality

Dubai: Customers will no longer be able to pay 25 fils at shops to use single-use plastic bags after May 31 and will have to use alternatives to a total ban on all kinds of single-use bags, including those made of paper, Dubai Municipality announced on Saturday.

In a post on its X account, the Municipality reminded residents of the ban that comes into force on June 1, as part of a wider policy to phase-out various single-use products by 2026.

According to the Municipality, violators of the ban on all single-use bags will be fined Dh200.

The civic body has urged residents to switch to reusable cloth bags. It has also explained to its various stakeholders the new policy, what it covers, which sectors must implement it and more.


Here’s everything you need to know about the ban:

Why is Dubai banning single-use plastic products and other single-use products?

Sustainability has become a global priority. Changing the behaviour of the community to reduce the environmental footprint of individuals is crucial to preserve natural resources, and environmental habitats. The changes will ultimately contribute to a healthier environment, which is vital to maintaining a sustainable and a high quality of life.

What are the environmental factors involved?

86 per cent of dead turtles found on some of the emirates’ shores had consumed plastic materials.

50 per cent of camel deaths in the UAE are due to the consumption of plastic bags; 100,000 marine animals are affected yearly.

400+ years for plastic to decompose and thousands of years to overcome its negative impact.


Which bags does the ban include?

The single-use bags ban includes the plastic bags announced in January 2024, and then all the following types of bags that thinner than 57 micrometers from June 2024 onwards.

  • Plastic bags
  • Paper bags
  • Bags less than 57 micrometers thick
  • Bags made of biodegradable vegetable materials
  • Biodegradable bags

Which are the bags that are excluded from the banning policy?

  • Bread bags
  • Knot bags
  • Roll bags for vegetables, meat, fish, and chicken
  • Bags more than 57 micrometers thick
  • Laundry bags
  • Electronic gadgets bags
  • Garbage bags of different sizes and types
  • Grain bags

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Will the decision include bags of products that are purchased online?

Bags that are purchased online are not included as this has to be on a federal level to be implemented.


How about online purchases like those that come in plastic packaging?

Packaging for online deliveries is not included in the ban. It does, however, apply to carrier bags used to deliver products purchased online (such as online grocery shopping).

What are the penalties?

Violators will be subject to a fine of Dh200. If the same violation occurs within one year, the penalty will be doubled, with a maximum of Dh2,000.

Will there be inspections to ensure compliance and issue fines?

Yes, there will be random inspections to make sure people are compliant with the new policy.

Which bags are charged and till when?

With the new policy, the 25 fills tariff will be applicable on all single-use bags until the end of May 2024.

Is the single-use bag fee mandatory for stores, or is it optional?

The fee is mandatory in all stores that use single-use bags for transporting goods and the 25 fils tariff is applicable until June 1, 2024.


Does the 25 fils fee include Value Added Tax (VAT)?

Yes, the invoice value of a single-use bag is 23.81 fils, and it is 25 fils with VAT.

Are there shops or activities that are exempt from paying this charge?

The policy is applied on all bags that are at the cashier. Therefore, it includes all sectors.

How do I report non-compliant outlets?

By registering a complaint with the consumer protection channels of the Department of Economy and Tourism in Dubai through the “Dubai Consumer” app or the website for consumer rights or the Call Centre 600545555.

Is the single-use bag fee charged even if the consumers bring their own bags?

No, the single-use bag fee is not charged if the consumers bring their own bags.

What are the new policies adopted?

· Banning single-use plastic bags starting January 2024


· Banning all single-use bags starting June 2024

· Phasing out single-use plastics by 2026

Is Dubai banning single-use plastic bags or all single-use bags?

From June 1, 2024, all single-use bags that are thinner than 57 micrometres are included in the ban, regardless of the material used. The key outcome from the new policy is to reduce the consumption of single-use bags and encourage reusing.

Which sectors have to apply this?

In line with enhancing environmental sustainability and encouraging individuals to reduce the excessive use of single-use plastics, The Executive Council of Dubai has approved these policies. The policies are applied for all stores across Dubai including, but not limited to, retail stores, textile and electronic stores, restaurants, pharmacies, online and e-commerce deliveries.

What is the problem with biodegradable bags?

Biodegradable bags need a specific recycling plant to be recycled and if it is left on landfills, it doesn’t degrade 100 per cent as microplastics are left behind. Microplastics can be eaten by animals which ends up in our food chain resulting in humans consuming microplastics.


Can paper bags be used as a free alternative?

The ban applies to all single-use bags for carrying goods, including paper bags with a thickness of less than 57 micrometers, and stores are not obligated to provide free alternatives as the goal is to push a change in consumer behaviour to preserve the local environment.

Will craft paper bags that are FSC certified be part of the ban?

When the Germany-based Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifies that a paper is made of responsibly sourced wood fiber, that paper earns the FSC label. However, Dubai Municipality said if craft paper bags are 57 microns and under, they will be banned.

Are food packaging materials included in phase one of the ban?

The phase one targets checkout bags, not food packaging.

Who benefits from the revenue of the single-use bag fee?

The revenues go to the private sector, and it is recommended that they be allocated to support sustainable initiatives either through the company or through local environmental and community associations.

Are shops obliged to provide free alternative bags?

Stores are not obligated to provide free alternative bags.

Has the municipality specified where we can find the alternatives?

The municipality has said it does not want to limit the market into a specific kind of bag – as long as the bag is not 57microns or under. It is encouraging using reusable bags such as cloth bags that can be used for a long period of time.

What are the alternative reusable options for customers/ companies?

The options are open for companies to choose from. A good quality bag that can carry your things and live longer is definitely the best option for our planet, according to the municipality. You can bring reusable bags and carriers. This is the sustainable practice that is encouraged, said the municipality.

Are reusable shopping bags safe from a health point of view?

Most multi-use shopping bags are made from materials that are cleanable, washable, and recyclable.

What are the priorities on phasing out of single-use plastic waste?

The ban starts with that of single-use plastic bags in January 2024. The next step will be banning all types of single-use bags in June 2024. Banning the initial list of single-use plastic items takes effect in 2025, and finally banning the rest of the list in 2026 which aligns with the federal law.

Which items will be banned from January 1, 2025?

Plastic stirrers, Styrofoam food containers, plastic table covers, plastic cotton swabs, plastic straws, single-use Styrofoam cups

Which items will be banned from January 1, 2026?

Single-use plastic cups and lids, single-use plastic cutlery, plastic food containers, plastic plates.

Has the municipality specified each plastic item, and its alternative replacement?

No. The municipality said there will be a guidebook for both consumers and businesses to go back to when choosing alternatives. The guide will include the alternatives and their footprint. The guidebook will be published soon by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, the civic body said.

What is the process for approving alternative solutions in Dubai?

Companies can reach out to Dubai Municipality and Dubai Chambers incubator for guidance on alternatives and innovative solutions that comply with the policy.

What will be the alternative solution for plastic bin bags?

Dubai Municipality is working on another policy, details of which are not yet available.

What are the best ways waste can be recycled and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner?

Citing that the responsibility for the environment is a shared concern, the municipality said businesses and individuals are encouraged to limit the use of single-use products.

The first step is to take care to reduce consumption in general, and reduce the use of single-use materials, before addressing the issue of recycling.

This can be done by purchasing materials without packaging and not asking for single-use cutlery and straws when buying food and installing a water filter for drinking at home, which will reduce the need to purchase single-use water bottles.

Secondly, it is important to sort the waste at home, separating the recyclable waste such as paper, metal, plastic, and glass from other household wastes, taking care to keep the recyclables clean to reduce their pollution, especially from food waste, which will limit the capacity of their recycling, the municipality said.