Starting today... single-use foam products are banned in Abu Dhabi

Abdallah Shahin - | UAE

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi has implemented a ban on the use of single-use "foam" products, effective from today, Saturday. This decision has been communicated to over 50,000 commercial establishments and 80 industrial facilities involved in plastic manufacturing, in order to fully enforce the policy. The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has initiated a ban on single-use plastic bags.

The regulatory body clarified that the inventory of banned items encompasses expanded polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam) cups, lids, and plates. Additionally, it includes food containers utilized for packaging fast food or pre-prepared meals intended for immediate consumption, as well as containers that hold products typically consumed directly from the container without any additional cooking or heating processes.

The restriction imposed by the Authority does not apply to "expanded polystyrene" products that are not meant for single-use. This exemption includes big storage boxes and plates (trays) used for preserving meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, ready-made dairy products, and other food items intended for retail sale. The restriction does not apply to products specifically created for retail sale. Intended for medical purposes.

Dr. Sheikha Salem Al Dhaheri, the Secretary-General of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, announced that the ban on certain Styrofoam products in Abu Dhabi is now in effect. This ban follows the successful prohibition of single-use plastic bags, and it is anticipated that there will be widespread adherence and cooperation throughout the emirate. Government agencies and private sector organizations will work together to achieve optimal outcomes. We acknowledge the crucial role community members play in ensuring the ban's success.

She stated, "Our ultimate objective is to decrease the introduction of microplastics into the food chain, as they can cause detrimental impacts on human health, biodiversity, and our natural ecosystems." She emphasized that the authority exercised careful discretion in approving only specific "Styrofoam" products. Prohibited In order to ensure the smooth operation of businesses and enhance convenience for consumers, readily available substitutes for all prohibited items are provided.

The Authority stated that the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi supports their efforts to create optimal business conditions and protect the environment. This is achieved by increasing awareness among commercial outlets and industrial facilities in the emirate about the need to adhere to the policy of using single-use plastic materials.

The Department of Economic Development - Abu Dhabi circulated a ban on "Styrofoam" to over 50,000 commercial establishments and 80 industrial facilities involved in plastic manufacturing.

The agency has planned to carry out field inspection campaigns on sales outlets and industrial premises in order to ensure the enforcement of the prohibition in Abu Dhabi, following a specific schedule.

The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi introduced a policy about single-use plastics for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2020. In 2022, they collaborated with shops to enforce a ban on single-use plastic bags.


The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi has successfully implemented a policy to reduce the use of single-use plastic materials in the emirate. As a result, 310 million single-use plastic bags have been avoided from being consumed until the end of April 2024. The number of bags distributed to payment boxes at retailers has been reduced by 95%. This policy has saved Abu Dhabi from generating over 2,000 tons of waste from single-use plastic bags. Additionally, more than 1,000 tons of bottles were collected, which is equivalent to 67 million bottles in 2023.

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