No more plastic bags in Ras Al Khaimah starting next year
There will be no more plastic bags in Ras Al Khaimah supermarkets and bakeries starting 2021, a top environment official in the emirate has said.
Dr Saif Al Ghais, director-general of the Environment Protection and Development Authority (Epda), said they will be replacing all these plastic bags with eco-friendly alternatives, aiming to reduce Ras Al Khaimah’s carbon footprint and protect the environment.
The decision was taken based on a poll which showed that the emirate’s supermarkets and bakeries are ready to go plastic-free. The authority surveyed 261 stores to gather their insights on the shift, and nearly all of them (96.17 per cent) agreed that they can help reduce the use of plastic in Ras Al Khaimah.
Seventy-seven per cent said they are willing to give up plastic bags and choose more sustainable options for their businesses.
When it comes to alternatives, 85.8 per cent of those polled said they prefer to use paper, while 49.8 per cent opt for biodegradable bags. Ninety-seven respondents, or 37.2 per cent, are open to using cloth bags.
Plastic waste in the emirate
In 2019, up to 27.43 million plastic bags, weighing over 489.6 tonnes, were used in the emirate, Dr Al Ghais said, citing their records.
The official warned that such bags need 10 to 20 years to degrade. “These pose a grave risk to the environment and are blamed for the death of countless marine and land creatures.”
Supermarkets and bakeries in the emirate are aware of these dangers, according to the survey. Eight in 10 agree that the ban on plastic bags will help protect the environment, while some 78 per cent said they will encourage others to stop using them.