The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) is making significant progress in its commitment to declare Abu Dhabi free of single-use plastic products, achieving the objectives of the Single-Use Plastic Policy in the emirate.

The Agency reports a significant reduction in the consumption of single-use plastic bags, with people switching to alternative, more sustainable reusable bags with a lower environmental footprint. This positive change in consumer behaviour is being driven and supported by EAD’s ongoing education and awareness campaign.

Since the implementation of the single-use plastic bag ban in Abu Dhabi last June, a team of inspectors from EAD, the Department of Economic Development, and the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority have begun to carry out joint inspections of sales outlets in Abu Dhabi.

The tours are designed to monitor compliance with the ban and educate outlets about the importance of replacing single-use bags with reusable ones that conform with the technical standards approved by the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council. These inspections showed a very high compliance rate with the ban and the use of approved alternatives.

Information collected from retail outlets indicate that since the beginning of the ban, the number of single-use plastic shopping bags has dropped by more than 90 per cent, resulting in a daily reduction of half a million bags since 1st June. This amounts to more than 87 million bags to date and counting.