Effective January 1, 2024…

Did you know that the UAE goes through 11 billion plastic bags each year? In order to combat this, Abu Dhabi and Dubai both have enforced a plastic ban and now, Sharjah is joining in on the fight by banning single-use plastic bags and materials by January 1, 2024.

The decision was announced during a meeting at Sharjah Ruler’s office under the chairmanship of HH Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Deputy Chairman of the Sharjah Executive Council and the Sharjah Executive Council (SEC).

With the decision made, the SEC aims to:

  1. Protect the environment from the dangers of plastic pollution and reduce the negative effects resulting from harmful practices.
  2. Enhance and encourage a culture of environmental protection and sustainability by reducing the consumption of single-use plastic bags and materials, leading to their ban.
  3. Organise the shift from the consumption of single-use plastic bags and materials, and provide environmentally friendly alternatives.
  4.  Ensure that multi-use bags and materials are handled sustainably.

The change will gradually be put in place, so as of October 1, there will be a charge of a minimum charge of 25 fils on all single-use plastic bags. So,  don’t be confused when the cashier asks you if you require a bag for your grocery items. The best way would be to go prepared with tote bags.

A step in the right direction


The move to ban single-use plastic ban is a step in the right direction and one that will be applauded by many.

When the ban was announced in Dubai, the Executive Council put out some startling facts stating that it takes 400 years for plastic bags to decompose. An additional thousand years is needed to mitigate their negative environmental impact.

The council also pointed out that plastic bags in the emirate were the cause of the death of 86 per cent of turtles and 50 per cent of camels.

Another fact pointed out by Earthday.org ominously states that ‘virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form’. It circulates in our ecosystems, marinating in our oceans and in addition to being harmful to turtles, it can also potentially pose catastrophic health hazards to humans too.

Images: Getty and Unsplash