Proceeds will be donated to Emirates Nature-WFF…

As the country gradually moves toward a single-use plastic-free environment, British retailer Waitrose and Partners has announced a 25fils fee for plastic carrier bags. Shoppers are encouraged to purchase a reusable bag, or bring their own to avoid having to pay the new charge.

The move aims to discourage customers from using a plastic bag to carry their shopping home, in a bid to reduce plastic waste from the environment. If you do forget your reusable bags however, and need to purchase a plastic one, the proceeds will be donated to Emirates Nature-WFF.

The UAE is stepping up its fight against singleuse plastic, starting with Dubai Airports at the beginning of the year, followed by an announcement that Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah have pledged to remove them by 2021. The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment have said that around one billion plastic bags are used in the UAE yearly – an average of 1,184 a person, which is 285 per cent higher than the global average.

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Sunil Kumar, CEO of Fine Fare Foods which runs Waitrose & Partners UAE, said: “This new charge is part of a gradual phase-out in line with the policies being introduced by the government across the UAE – and one that we are committed to following. We are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment, and while we know there is still a lot of work to be done, the removal of single use carrier bags is a major step in the right direction. So far, we’ve received really positive feedback from our customers.”

In addition, Waitrose & Partners plans to phase out non-recyclable plastic from all branded and own-brand packaging and reduce the amount of own-brand packaging, including plastics, by a third by 2023.