The UAE has moved up its deadline on banning non-biodegradable plastic packaging from 2013 to this year. The ban was promoted by the Ministry of Environment and Water by concerns over the impact of plastic on the desert, sea and native wildlife. Plastic shopping bags, food packaging, garbage bags, shipping wrap and other plastics intended for short term use are all covered by the ban.
The ban will be enforced by the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology. Mohammed Saleh Al Badri of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology stated:
ESMA officials will visit each factory and see that the manufacturing process complies with our specification. So, basically, the raw materials, additives, and manufacturing process, will be pre-approved by us. The companies will have regular monitoring, and we will collect finished samples, as well as the ones still being made for testing. Unannounced visits will be made to ensure consistency. At this point, we don’t have a testing centre, so all samples are sent abroad, but we are encouraging labs to take up this facility within the country. This regulatory measure will ensure that all the plastic bags used in the country will be degradable to harmless substances that will not affect the environment.