02 June 2022
The Environment Protection and Development Authority called on its local partners supporting the implementation of the Ras Al Khaimah Plastic Free Initiative, represented by the Ras Al Khaimah Municipality Department, the Department of Economic Development, the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zones Authority (Rakez), and the Tourism Development Authority to discuss the mechanism for implementing and implementing the initiative.
The authority works in accordance with the directions of the United Arab Emirates and its efforts to address the phenomenon of excessive consumption of plastic bags in the daily lives of members of society, and to reduce the effects of their use on the environment and living organisms. This initiative comes to support the goals and vision of the Government of Ras Al Khaimah under the rational guidance of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the Union and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and with the close follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah, Chairman of the Executive Council.
The Director-General of the Environmental Protection and Development Authority, Dr. Saif Muhammad Al-Ghais, also presented the mechanism and stages of application, as the attendees agreed on the duration of the first stage, which is the period of imposing fees for single-use plastic bags and educating consumers about the need to reduce and stop using plastic bags, and after 6 months the total ban on their use will be implemented. And start violating the facilities provided by the dealers.
During the meeting, the pricing of plastic bags in the targeted sectors was discussed during the first phase of implementing the initiative, and all views of support and opposition from the attendees representing their sides were heard.
As the authority carried out, during the study stages of the implementation plan of the initiative in 2019, a survey targeting the owners of the supermarket and bakery sectors, which showed the support of 77.28% of the total of 261 supermarkets and bakeries for the initiative, which aims to replace non-biodegradable plastic bags with environmentally friendly alternatives. The number of bags reached Approximately 28 million plastic bags were used in these two activities in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah only during that period.
Al-Ghais stressed, "Preserving the environment and the sustainability of its resources has been a strategic priority for the UAE since its establishment. Thanks to the vision and directives of its wise leadership, the state has presented a pioneering model in efforts to protect the environment, preserve its natural resources and ensure the sustainability of its biodiversity. Today, our meeting with these local authorities comes to distribute roles Working as one to rid the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, its ecosystems and biodiversity, from the danger of single-use plastic bags
Al Ghais added, "The individual may not feel the danger of these bags and the effects they can cause on public health, and the deterioration of the marine and terrestrial environment, and by reducing and preventing these bags, a great burden and danger to the lives of living creatures, including humans, will be removed. This will also contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and the state. In general, such initiatives and trends in the UAE and we affirm our continued commitment to support the efforts of the international community aimed at reducing the repercussions of climate change and the challenges it causes, as the country hosts the Conference of Parties “COP28” in 2023.”