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77.28% of supermarket and bakery shop owners support replacing plastic bags with environmentally friendly alternatives

11 August 2020

The Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah launched the Plastic Free Initiative in Ras Al Khaimah, and a survey to measure the degree of support of 261 supermarkets and bakeries owners for replacing non-dissolving plastic bags with environmentally friendly alternatives showed that 77.28% of them support the initiative. It also reflected the huge number of bags used in these two activities only (27.43 million plastic bags), and the number of large weights that exceeded 489.6 tons of plastic bags during 2019 only. The magnitude of the great problem faced by the various ecosystems.

Dr. Saif Muhammad Al Ghais, Director General of the Environment Protection and Development Authority in Ras Al Khaimah, said that the community’s attitude towards the negative effects of plastic use and its damages on the environment has been measured. It was found that 81.25% of the respondents expressed that banning plastic bags in the emirate will contribute to protecting the environment. Also, 78.75% of them indicated that they would encourage all target groups to prevent the use of plastic bags.

Al-Ghais added that a large proportion of the establishments that provide their products to the consumer public in Ras Al Khaimah use plastic bags, which carries high environmental risks since they decompose over a period ranging between 10-20 years, and cause the death of many marine and terrestrial organisms, and then malfunctions in the systems. Environmental, Scientific studies have also indicated that plastic is one of the substances that lead to environmental hazards for all ecosystems in the world, as global production of plastic has been estimated since the fifties of the last century at about 8.3 billion tons, and single-use plastic materials are considered one of the most dangerous products on the environment.

Al-Ghais pointed out that the degree of support of the bakery owners was higher, at 81.11%, and the supermarket owners, the degree of support was 75.50%, and with regard to environmentally friendly plastic bags alternatives, the owners of 224 establishments, 85.8% of the total number of enterprises surveyed, supported this being The alternatives to paper bags, while the owners of 130 establishments and 49.8% of the respondents indicated that biodegradable plastic bags are the most appropriate alternative, while 97 facility owners and 37.2% of the respondents preferred cloth bags as an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags, as indicated by 96.17. % Of facility owners that their facilities can contribute positively to reducing the percentage of plastic bags usage in Ras Al Khaimah.

Dr. Saif Al-Ghais concluded his statement that, "The authority is considering taking appropriate measures regarding replacing plastic bags with environmentally friendly alternatives, as the use of non-dissolving plastic bags for supermarket and bakery activities will be gradually eliminated, provided that the application of the Ras Al Khaimah Free of Plastic initiative is expanded to the rest Other sectors and activities starting from the beginning of 2021, and this will contribute to reducing the environmental footprint and protecting the environmental systems. ”

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