The United Arab Emirates is taking a long time to phase out plastic bags for bags that are friendly towards the environment.
On 8 April 2008 the Federal National Council (FNC) tabled their report to Cabinet which included a recommendation to limit or ban the use of plastic bags.
The large Lulu Hypermarket chain is typical of the many UAE supermarkets that have been promising ‘green bags’ for years.
Monetary penalties are needed for both supermarkets and shoppers.
The UAE government should impose a tax on supermarkets that continue to use non-recyclable plastic bags.
More ads and education is needed encouraging residents to use cloth or jute bags.
The UAE government should follow New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s example and charge shoppers 6 cents (Dh1.00) for every plastic bag taken at the checkout.
The carrot and the stick will best speed up the nation’s commitment to caring for the environment.
Dr Geoff Pound
Image: Groceries wrapped in plastic bags.
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