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Dubai supermarket suspends plastic bag fee


DUBAI – A supermarket chain in Dubai has suspended a 25-fils charge for customers who use plastic bags for their grocery items.

Choithrams introduced the fee in July in efforts to reduce plastic waste. The move was said to have sparked complaints from some customers.

A spokesman for Choithrams recently confirmed that the “decision to charge for the plastic bags has been put on hold at the moment”. No explanation was given for the change.

Supermarkets in the UAE have moved to implement environmentally friendly business practices, with Waitrose the first to introduce a charge of 25 fils per plastic bag at five of its stores in Abu Dhabi. The supermarket said it is considering rolling out the initiative across all its branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Carrefour also announced it would give away a foldable bag to shoppers who brought their own reusable bag.

In Dubai, Sustainable City has banned single-use plastics in its restaurants and cafes. Dubai Airports also announced that it will be banning single-use plastics from consumer spaces starting from January 1, 2020.

A UAE resident uses an average of 1,182 plastic bags per year, according to the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi.

Plastic pollution has caused a global concern, with environmentalists saying that plastic waste in the ocean and other areas causing the deaths of more than 1.1 million animals each year.

Since 1950, the world has produced more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste that takes thousands of years to decompose. ICA/Expat Media


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