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Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development to ban single-use Styrofoam products from 1 June

Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development to ban single-use Styrofoam products from 1 June

Tuesday, May 21, 2024/ Editor -  

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Abu Dhabi, 21 May 2024: As part of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s (EAD) Single-Use Plastic Policy which was launched in 2020, a ban on a series of Styrofoam products in the emirate will become effective from 1 June 2024.

Styrofoam is a type of plastic called expanded polystyrene and it has a range of uses. As part of the ban, Abu Dhabi, is targeting avoidable, single-use consumer products.

Specifically, the banned products comprise cups, lids, plates and beverage containers (including their caps and lids) made of expanded polystyrene. In addition, food container receptacles for products that are intended for immediate consumption, either on the spot or for takeaway, or containers that have a product that is typically consumed from the receptacle and is ready to be consumed without any further preparation such as cooking, boiling or heating, will also be prohibited.

The products that will be exempt from the ban include those not designed for single consumer use such as big storage boxes and coolers and trays used for meat, fruit, ready-made dairy products and other food items for retail sale. Also, all other products designed for medical uses are also exempted.

Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, said: “As an extension of the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy which we initiated in 2020, and following the extremely successful ban on single-use plastic bags in 2022 and the introduction of the Single-Use Plastic Bottle Return Scheme in 2023, effective from June 1 2024 there will be a ban on some Styrofoam products in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. 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.

“We are striving to make life easy for consumers while maintaining the balance of conserving the environment at the same time, therefore, for the ban we have only selected items that are avoidable single-use plastics and have clear and sustainable alternatives. We will also provide support to government and private sector entities to facilitate the shift towards reusable solutions.”

She elaborated: “The success story for the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy is that the consumption of 310 million single-use plastic bags has been avoided up to April 2024, and the number of bags distributed at retailers’ cash counters has reduced up to 95 per cent. In weight, this is more than 2,000 tonnes of single use plastic bags have been avoided. Similarly, more than 1,000 tonnes of bottles, equivalent to 67 million bottles, have been collected last year”.

Her Excellency Dr Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri said: “Such great results would not have been possible without consumer and private sector active involvement.”

His Excellency Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) reaffirmed ADDED’s commitment to support environment-friendly strategies to ensure providing best possible conditions for doing business and preserving the environment. His Excellency Al Blooshi highlighted the significant role played by ADDED in raising awareness among commercial outlets and industrial facilities in the emirate to comply with the single-use plastic policy, reflecting the proactive approach to achieve the policy’s objectives and enabling the private sector's transition to environment-friendly alternatives.

ADDED has shared the circular on Styrofoam ban with more than 50,000 commercial establishments and 80 industrial facilities involved in plastic manufacturing. It also launched an awareness programme, in coordination with EAD targeting commercial and industrial establishments. The programme aimed to introduce the ban policy and present the targeted Styrofoam products. A list of excluded products was also shared during the programme’s workshops as well as the mechanism of reconciling the conditions of economic establishments and switching to locally manufactured alternatives. ADDED is set to conduct field inspection campaigns on sales outlets and industrial establishments to ensure the implementation of the ban across Abu Dhabi according to the specified timetable, starting from 1 June 2024.


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