Here’s everything we know about the new rules… 

Take note: Single-use Styrofoam products and single-use food container receptacles will soon be banned in Abu Dhabi, effective from June 1, 2024.

The new rules, in a bid for businesses and consumers to shift to more reusable and sustainable solutions, will include all Styrofoam cups, lids, plates, and beverage containersThe emphasis is on all single-use containers used for immediate consumption, and the only items exempt from the ban will be those not designed for single-use (such as big storage boxes, coolers, etc), as well as products designed for medical purposes.

The decision, announced by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) follows the successful ban of single-use plastic bags and the bottle recycling programme back in 2022.

“This move will help reduce litter in the environment as Styrofoam in particular breaks easily into microplastics that can enter the food chain and be harmful to human health as well as affect biodiversity.” Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi, added. 

So far, following the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy, the consumption of 310 million single-use plastic bags has been avoided as well as the distribution of over 2,000 tonnes of single-use plastic bags. Plus, more than 1,000 tonnes of bottles, equivalent to 67 million bottles, have been collected in the last year.

What about Dubai?

As of January 1, single-use plastic bags have been banned in Dubai, with a few exceptions. But from June 1, 2024, the ban will include all single-use bags of other materials.

From January 1, 2025 single-use plastic products, including plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, Styrofoam food containers, plastic straws, and plastic cotton swabs, will all be banned city-wide. Then from January 1, 2026, the ban will extend to plastic products like plates, food containers, tableware and cups.

Images: Provided