UAE to ban 'regular' plastic bags from 2013

All non-biodegradable plastic bags would be phased out by the end of 2012, as the UAE gears to implement ban on regular plastic bags from 2013.

The authorities are making sure that the mechanisms are in place to start producing degradable bags in the country before the end of the deadline, Gulf News reported.

The UAE produces 95 per cent of the plastic bags used in the country and around five per cent is imported. The country is believed to have around 100 manufacturers and suppliers of bio or oxo biodegradable additives who needs to be approved by approved by Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) before they can deal with plastic manufacturers and traders.

The oxo bags decompose quickly as against the regular bags which take around 300 years to degrade.

Mohammad Saleh Badri, Acting Director General of ESMA, said: "All the plastic bags used in the UAE must be biodegradable from 2013 so all... the people using them should be made aware of this regulation and practise it."
All plastics that are biodegradable will bear a "Mark of Conformity" or a logo that shows they meet government standards.

ESMA has so far approved three suppliers – Wells Plastics Limited, Symphony Environmental Limited and Bin Hilal Enterprises – of the granular additives.

The verification aims to ensure that the process of degradation will not harm the people and environment.

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