UAE's Sustainable Future: Embracing the UAE Plastic Ban of 1st Jan 2024 with Zubairi's Reusable Plastic Bags.

In a bid to champion environmental preservation, the UAE government has implemented sweeping measures aimed at curbing single-use plastic consumption. Starting with a ban on single-use plastic bags, the initiative signifies a critical step toward sustainability. Zubairi, in alignment with these regulations, stands poised to lead the charge by offering eco-conscious solutions. Join us as we delve into the significance of this regulatory shift and explore how Zubairi's commitment to manufacturing reusable plastic bags echoes the UAE's vision for a greener future.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, (Photo credits to Dubai media office)

The UAE's Transition to Sustainable Practices

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has enacted Executive Council Resolution No. 124 of 2023. This resolution aims to safeguard the environment, inspire individuals to embrace eco-conscious practices, and cultivate the habit of utilizing reusable products to propel the cause of sustainable development.

Furthermore, this initiative endeavors to incentivize the private sector to advocate for the utilization of recycled items, aligning with circular economy principles that facilitate the sustainable recycling of products within local markets. The Resolution also aims to oversee and standardize the usage and recycling processes of single-use and plastic products.

The Resolution introduces a phased prohibition on the import and trade of single-use products. Effective January 1, 2024, the ban will be implemented for plastic bags less than 57 microns. Multi-use plastic bags with thickness more than 57 microns can be used, however a tariff of 25 fils is imposed on the multi-use bag, with the price indicated to the customer.  Subsequently, non-plastic single-use products, including single-use bags, will fall under the ban's purview from June 1, 2024. 

From January 1, 2025, the ban will encompass single-use plastic products, encompassing items such as plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, styrofoam food containers, plastic straws, and plastic cotton swabs. Beginning January 1, 2026, the ban will expand to encompass other single-use plastic products, comprising plastic plates, plastic food containers, plastic tableware, beverage cups, and their respective plastic lids.

Limited exceptions

In accordance with the Resolution, specific exemptions are granted for certain products from the ban on single-use plastic items. These exemptions encompass thin-film rolls utilized for packaging meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, and bread, in addition to garbage bags. Moreover, products intended for export or re-export outside the country, such as single-use plastic shopping bags and disposable plastic products, are also exempted. However, it is mandated that these exempted items meant for export must be clearly marked for their intended purpose beyond local markets.

The Resolution calls for collaborative efforts among relevant authorities, entities, and consumers to devise and implement strategies aimed at diminishing the production and consumption of single-use products. It urges the adoption of practices and initiatives that promote the increased adoption of reusable products. Additionally, sellers are obligated to actively engage in projects, initiatives, and programs focused on reducing plastic materials and single-use products. They are required to provide specific reusable alternatives at reasonable prices as directed by the pertinent authorities.

Non-compliance and penalties

Offenders breaching this Resolution will incur a fine of AED200 for the violation. In case of a repeated offense within a year of the previous incident, the penalty will double, not exceeding AED2,000 when increased.

Individuals facing penalties have the option to challenge the decisions made against them by filing written grievances with the Director-General of the relevant government department responsible for licensing economic activities within the emirate. These departments include the Department of Economy and Tourism, as well as overseeing bodies of private development zones and free zones, such as the Dubai International Financial Centre. The submission of grievances must occur within ten working days following the notification regarding the decision, action, or administrative penalty. A committee, established for this specific purpose by the Director-General, will resolve the complaint within ten working days from its submission. The decision rendered on the complaint shall be considered final.

This Resolution supersedes any other conflicting decisions. It comes into effect on January 1, 2024, and will be officially published in the Official Gazette.

Zubairi's Role in Compliance and Innovation

SWe are pleased to inform you that Zubairi Packaging is fully aligned with this new regulation and has taken proactive steps to manufacture and supply reusable plastic bags that meet or exceed the specified thickness. These bags are not only compliant with the latest standards but also contribute to the broader sustainability goals set by the government. It also remains to be noted that as per the resolution, the ban does not apply to the following products: single-use plastic bags which include thin-film rolls for packaging meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, and bread, along with garbage bags. Exemptions also extend to products intended for export or re-export outside the country.

reusable plastic carry bags zubairi

Zubairi's Green Reusable Bag represents a significant stride toward fulfilling both regulatory mandates and broader sustainability objectives outlined by the government. Our commitment extends beyond mere compliance; it resonates with the overarching vision of fostering a greener and more sustainable future. By aligning our manufacturing practices with the regulatory requirements stipulated by the government, Zubairi ensures that our range of products, particularly the reusable plastic bags, not only meets but exceeds the specified standards. These bags boast enhanced durability, surpassing the prescribed thickness thresholds, thereby adhering strictly to the regulatory guidelines. Our Green Reusable Bags have a thickness of 58 Microns as per the requirements of the regulations. These bags are designed to be used for upto 10 times, without failing under considerable loads. This helps the customer to use the bag multiple times for a mere cost of 25 fills per bag as well as the retailer, who is empowered by being able to provide a cost-effective packaging solution.

The Green Reusable Bag is crafted with eco-friendly materials and innovative production techniques that minimize environmental impact. Apart from being biodegradable in nature, they are also recyclable which helps in reducing accumulation of wastes in landfills, thereby promoting a circular economy in the UAE.

Assisting Businesses in the Transition

Transitioning from single-use plastic bags to reusable alternatives might present businesses with various challenges, including logistical adjustments, cost considerations, and customer education. At Zubairi, we acknowledge these potential hurdles and are dedicated to supporting our clients throughout this transformative process.

Logistical adjustments often accompany changes in packaging materials. Shifting to reusable bags may necessitate alterations in storage, handling, and distribution processes. Zubairi recognizes the importance of seamless integration and provides comprehensive guidance to streamline the transition. Our team offers tailored solutions, including logistical support, to facilitate the incorporation of reusable bags into existing operations without disruptions.

Cost considerations are another factor businesses may contemplate. While the initial investment in reusable bags might appear higher than single-use options, Zubairi emphasizes the long-term cost-effectiveness of our products. Our reusable bags, designed for extended use, offer an economical solution by reducing the need for frequent replenishment, ultimately saving businesses costs over time.

Customer education and acceptance of the shift from single-use to reusable bags are crucial. Zubairi collaborates closely with clients, offering educational resources and marketing support to communicate the benefits of reusable bags to their customer base. We provide informative materials and branding strategies to encourage consumer adoption and foster positive perceptions of eco-friendly practices.

Zubairi's commitment extends beyond providing products; we are dedicated to guiding our clients through this transition phase. Our expertise, personalized assistance, and ongoing support ensure a smooth and successful shift to reusable bags, empowering businesses to embrace sustainability while meeting their packaging needs effectively.

By choosing Zubairi's reusable plastic bags, businesses not only secure a reliable packaging option but also actively participate in environmental conservation endeavors. Our bags epitomize durability, eco-friendliness, and unmatched quality, serving as a sustainable choice that supports ongoing efforts to minimize single-use plastic consumption and preserve the environment for future generations.