Sharjah Ceases Single-Use Plastic Production Post January 2024 Ban

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Sharjah made headlines on Monday with a significant environmental initiative: the discontinuation of single-use plastic bag manufacturing by the municipality. Effective immediately, all manufacturers are required to cease production in alignment with this directive.

This action follows the broader ban on single-use plastic bags and materials implemented across the emirate since January 1, 2024. As part of this ban, retailers were instructed to cease trading, producing, offering, and importing single-use plastic bags and materials.

The primary objective behind this ban is to safeguard the environment by curbing plastic pollution and fostering a culture of sustainability and environmental consciousness. However, certain products are exempt from this directive, including thin plastic bag rolls used for packaging perishables, garbage bags, medication bags, and large shopping bags for specific items like fashion, electronics, and toys.

Additionally, single-use plastic bags intended for export or re-export outside the UAE are exempt, provided clear indications are present to demonstrate their purpose. Nevertheless, trading these exempted products in domestic markets is prohibited.

Furthermore, single-use bags and products made from recyclable materials within the UAE are exempt, subject to coordination with relevant authorities. The competent authority, in collaboration with the ministry, may also specify and exempt other products and materials.

To encourage the use of reusable bags, the authorities endorse various types of bags with lower environmental impacts and higher recyclability. These include bags made from LDPE, non-woven PP, woven PP, cotton, recycled PET, polyester, biopolymer (PLA), and composite materials.

Reusable bags must bear certain distinguishing features, including information about the material used, its reusability, washability, freedom from toxic substances, and recyclability if applicable. Additionally, multi-use bags must meet specific criteria, such as having a non-stretchable handle, a minimum capacity of 15 liters, and compliance with local standards.

Manufacturers must adhere to specifications outlined in UAE Standard Specification No. (UAE.S5054:2023), ensuring washability, absence of toxic substances, and compliance with approved technical requirements and standard specifications applicable in the UAE. These measures collectively aim to promote environmental sustainability and reduce the adverse impacts of plastic pollution in Sharjah and beyond.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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