UAE: Retailers to limit plastic bags in stores across country

A supermarket to reward customers who bring their own shopping bags

Honeyview_Reusable bag

Major retailers will limit single-use plastic bags across the UAE and replace them with natural alternatives.

A ban on the single-use of plastic bags came into effect on June 1, 2022, in Abu Dhabi, while Dubai will implement a ban from July 1, 2022.


Locally-owned supermarket Spinneys said it would stop single-use plastic bags in its stores across the UAE. It removed single-use plastic bags in Abu Dhabi from June 1, and will implement a similar decision in Dubai on July 1, 2022.


Spinneys will also reward shoppers by giving customers 25fils off their total grocery bill every time they bring a bag back to the store with them when they shop. This is as opposed to charging 25fils to use a disposable plastic bag.

Sophie Corcut, sustainability manager at Spinneys, said the retailer will support the national target to ban all disposable bags in the UAE by 2024 completely.

“We will continue to introduce rewards and initiatives to help our customers adopt an eco-friendlier way of living too, like our new premium shopper in collaboration with Peahead Eco. It’s great to see the single-use plastic bags being re-purposed into something practical and stylish,” said Corcut.

Carrefour, which is owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim, said it will replace single-use plastic bags at checkout counters with starch alternatives in all stores across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The new starch bags, which take less than six months to fully decompose, will be available for 25 fils at Carrefour stores across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain from June 1 and in Dubai as of July 1.

“Of all the plastic ever made, half has been produced in the last 15 years, which is why we were the first UAE retailer to introduce reusable bags back in 2007. Since 2019, we have sold 4 million reusable bags at Carrefour stores across the UAE,” said Bernardo Perloiro, chief operating officer UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

Customers at Carrefour can also find reusable bags made using paper, woven, juco, and canvas materials, which are equivalent to five regular bags and can carry many more items. The brand will offer bonus Share points for purchases of new reusable bags.


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The Dubai-based retailer Union Coop will also limit single-use plastic bags.

“Consumers do not have to worry about anything as Union Coop will offer them several options instead of single-use plastic bags, including cloth bags that can be used multiple times. The best part is that these are washable and recyclable,” said Mohammed Berregad Alfalasi, admin affairs director, Union Coop.

Alfalasi added that the initiative to reduce the use of single-use bags would be implemented in all Union Coop stores in Dubai at the beginning of July this year as a first stage.

He pointed out that the cooperative has developed a comprehensive strategy for the stages of implementing the initiative, starting with consumer awareness and even providing them with an alternative way to use plastic bags and place their purchases in them, pointing out that the cooperative will be keen during the first period of implementing the initiative to receive feedback and take notes from consumers to develop and reach consumer happiness goals.


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