DUBAI: In a landmark decision, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has issued Executive Council Resolution No. 124 of 2023. This significant move targets the reduction of single-use products, aiming to steer the Emirate towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable future.
The resolution is a comprehensive approach to encourage both individuals and the private sector to adopt eco-friendly practices, promoting the use of reusable products. This initiative aligns with global efforts to foster a circular economy, ensuring sustainable recycling and use of products in local markets.
- Scope and Application: The resolution encompasses a wide range of single-use disposable items, including plastics and non-plastic materials used in food delivery packaging, plastic containers, and other common products. It is applicable across Dubai, including private development zones and free zones like the Dubai International Financial Centre.
- Responsibilities of Municipality: In collaboration with relevant entities, the municipality is tasked with organizing awareness campaigns, encouraging the reduction of plastic use, and promoting reusable alternatives.
- Phased Ban: Beginning January 1, 2024, the resolution will progressively ban the import and trading of various single-use products, starting with plastic bags. By January 1, 2026, the ban will extend to a wider range of plastic products.
- Limited Exceptions: The ban excludes certain single-use plastic bags used for specific purposes like packaging meat, fish, and vegetables, as well as garbage bags. Items intended for export or re-export are also exempted.
- Alternatives: Sellers are required to support initiatives reducing single-use products and must offer reusable alternatives at reasonable prices as outlined by authorities.
- Penalties: Violators will face fines, with penalties escalating for repeated offenses within a year.
- Resolution Procedures: The resolution outlines a process for violators to contest decisions, with a dedicated committee to resolve complaints.
This resolution marks a significant step towards environmental protection and sustainability, requiring collaboration among authorities, businesses, and consumers to develop and implement effective strategies. By reducing the reliance on single-use products, Dubai is setting a precedent for other cities and countries to follow in the quest for a healthier planet.