United Arab Emirates To Ban Disposable Plastics


Written by Mat McDermott

The United Arab Emirates has moved forward a ban on all disposable plastic products, except those made from oxo-biodegradable plastics, from 2013 to the end of this year.

Though oxo-biodegradable plastics cannot be composted as some biodegradable plastics can, if left in the open they will decompose within 2-18 months. In a landfill decomposition occurs much more slowly however, though still far more quickly than ordinary plastics.

The ban, enacted by the Ministry of Environment and Water, was precipitated over concerns about plastic waste in the desert and the sea, and the effect of that on wildlife.

Covered in the ban are all packaging and disposable plastic products such as shopping bags, packaging for food, magazines, garbage bags, shrink and pallet wrap, cling film, as well as other plastic designed to be used over short periods and discarded. (Packaging Gateway)

The regulation also includes a standard for registration of companies manufacturing and importing biodegradable plastics. The Intelligent SME quotes Eng. Mohammed Saleh Al Badri of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology:

ESMA officials will visit each factory and see that the manufacturing process complies with our specification. So, basically, the raw materials, additives, and manufacturing process, will be pre-approved by us. The companies will have regular monitoring, and we will collect finished samples, as well as the ones still being made for testing. Unannounced visits will be made to ensure consistency. At this point, we don’t have a testing centre, so all samples are sent abroad, but we are encouraging labs to take up this facility within the country. This regulatory measure will ensure that all the plastic bags used in the country will be degradable to harmless substances that will not affect the environment.

East Africa Pushes For Plastic Ban
All of this comes as the East African Community legislative assembly—an intergovernmental organization for Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda—has passed ‘The East African Community Plastics Control Bill’.

If all heads of state of the member countries sign it, the bill would provide the legal framework for the outright banning of the manufacturing, sale, import and use of polyethylene material. Read more.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


Related Stories:

Grand Canyon Bans Sale of Plastic Water Bottles

Canada Health: BPA’s a Toxin But It’s Okay to Have It In Our Food

Is Edible Food Packaging The Answer to Plastic Waste?


Photo from wcm1111 via flickr


Sergio Padilla
Sergio Padilla5 years ago

What a lovely news! Hate plastic...

AbdulAziz A.
AbdulAziz A5 years ago

Good for UAE and about time when the wealthy Western nations stop abusing the environment too. They misuse the resources and pollute the world with dire consequences for the rest the world.

The poorer nations suffer in every way --- they are not responsible for spreading the rubbish but disasters adversely effect their every day lives.

It's about time all developed countries adapted the same rules and give the rest the world a chance to at least breath clean air, drink clean water and have unpolluted food.

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago


Ernest R.
Ernest R5 years ago

Sounds good to me.

Meta R.
Meta Reid5 years ago

Great article. Now where is our congress and are they following this? Oh, yah, their still wondering if women should think about controlling their own bodies.... When will they get back to reality?

Marianna B M.


Parvez Zuberi
Parvez Zuberi5 years ago

Great News we all should follow and make the law

Rachel Wilson
Rachel Wilson5 years ago

Interesting that the United States is supposed to be the more progressive nation, but you are seeing this in countries that are "developing". Really, we can't focus on the global crisis of our wastefulness destroying the planet we live on? Being only a teenager, I find it really frustrating that America does not even try to get policies like this implemented. If we had environmental education for every kid in this "privileged" society, people would be much more aware of wastefulness in this country.

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Surprise here!

Nelson Baker
Nelson Baker5 years ago

Good decision.