Retailers and shoppers in Dubai are expected to warmly support the new plastic bag policy

On Monday, 7th Feb, The Executive Council of Dubai approved the policy to charge 25 fills for the single use carry bags, to improve environmental sustainability. The policy will come into effect starting from July 1st 2022, in all stores in Dubai including restaurants, pharmacies, grocery stores and ecommerce deliveries, etc. According to the TEC survey, 50% camel deaths in the UAE are caused by the consumption of plastic bags.

UAE bans plastic bags

According to the tweet from TEC, the tariff will be there for the next 2 years, and after that a complete ban on plastic bags will be introduced. The policy is approved by considering some startling facts listed below:

  • Plastic bags take more than 400 years to decompose and more than 1000 years to completely mitigate its impact to the environment.
  • 86% dead turtles found on shores were caused by plastic bag consumption.
  • 50% of camels died due to the consumption of plastic bags.

Retailer’s response to the new plastic bag rules


One of the UAE’s leading retail chains Carrefour already pledged to stop the use of plastic carry bags by the end of 2025. They have introduced cloth bags and recyclable bags to customers. The decision will affect Majid Al Futtaim’s 26 malls, 13 hotels, 46 VOX Cinemas and nearly 300 Carrefour stores. Bernardo Perloiro, Chief Operating Officer of GCC at Majid Al Futtaim Retail, said: “We applaud the decision of Dubai’s Executive Council to introduce a 25 fills charge for single-use plastic bags to discourage excessive plastic consumption and encourage a more sustainable shopping behavior from July 1. Carrefour was the first UAE retailer to offer a recyclable carrier bag in 2007 and we have since pledged to reduce the circulation of single-use plastic by 500 million bags each year. Whilst in 2019, we announced our company-wide pledge to phase out single-use plastic by 2025.

More companies in the UAE are applauding the government decision and looking for alternatives like jute bags, cloth bags, recyclable and reusable bags, which are ecofriendly.

Kamal Vachani, Group Director and Partner, Al Maya Group, said: “The newly announced [tariff] is a great decision to enhance environmental sustainability. There will be a good impact on the environment. Al Maya Group welcomes this initiative, and we are ready to support Dubai for all efforts to save the environment.”

Naresh Kumar Bhawnani, founder and chairman of West Zone Group, said the upcoming tariff will go a long way in saving the environment. “It will help reduce plastic consumption by 25 percent. However, there is another side to this: Going by the demographics of the population that lives in the UAE, many people are bachelors. They will [initially] not be able to manage with a [reusable] carry bag… But I think it is all about a mind-set change and after a while we will see everyone coming in with their own carry bags.”

Shoppers also welcomed this new decision and they said it is like a reminder to everyone how much we are responsible to keep our environment safe and clean. The surprising fact is that most of the responses to the TEC tweet about the new policy says that 25 fills is very less and it has to be at least 2 dirhams to stop the usage completely. In the coming 2 years the policy will be evaluated in every stage and we can expect a complete ban of single use plastic bags very soon.

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