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The decision aims to protect the environment from pollution caused by the consumption of such products. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: It’s time to say goodbye to your plastic straws and cups … the UAE has rolled out a federal strategy to completely ban single-use materials or plastics over the next three years.

This is as per Ministerial Resolution No. 380 of 2022, which regulates the use of single-use products in the UAE’s markets. According to a report on Tuesday by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, the decision aims to protect the environment from pollution caused by the consumption of such products.

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Here are the details of the products that will gradually be banned across the UAE.

From January 1, 2024

The use of single-use shopping bags of any material will be prohibited, including biodegradable plastic bags.

The use of plastic bags, in general, will be limited. The UAE will also regulate the production, distribution, and use of all single-use products at the federal level.

From January 1, 2026

A blanket ban will be imposed on the import, production, and trade of single-use plastic products, including:

1. Plastic cups and covers/lids
2. Plastic cutlery (spoons, forks, knives, and chopsticks)
3. Plastic plates
4. Straws and stirrers
5. Food containers
6. Styrofoam boxes

As per the report by official news agency, WAM, the decision also called on all concerned authorities and consumers to develop and adopt mechanisms and practices to reduce the production and consumption of single-use products, packages and packaging materials made partially or completely of plastic materials. These include materials used in food packaging, plastic bottles, cotton sticks, crackers, bags, cigarette butts, wet wipes, balloons and balloon sticks.

Which products are exempted?

- Rolls of thin plastic bags
- Bags and products made from recycled materials in the UAE

The items listed above should, however, meet the guidelines issued by the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) in coordination with the concerned authorities.

Also, products that are intended for export and re-export that are clearly labelled for this purpose are exempt, but they are completely forbidden from being traded in the UAE’s markets.