SINGLE-USE plastic bags of a certain thickness will be banned from September this year, the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry has announced.

The decision, issued yesterday, bans the import, manufacture and circulation of single-use plastic bags with a thickness of less than 35 microns.

One micron is one thousandth of a millimetre, and the decision will come into effect starting on September 19.

The ban will exclude single-use plastic bags that are more than 35 microns in thickness, single-use plastic bags that are used for medical purposes and bags that are used for exports.


“The decision to ban single-use plastic bags with a thickness of less than 35 microns comes with the aim of protecting the environment from pollutants and reducing the spread of plastic waste which poses a great danger to wildlife in Bahrain,” said Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani in a statement.

“The ministry has prepared a comprehensive status of plastic bag factories and the main points of sale as well as the factories for plastic bag substitutes in Bahrain.

“The study revealed that 86 per cent of local factories will continue to manufacture plastic products that aren’t included in the ministerial decision while also 100pc of the factories intend to continue manufacturing multi-use plastic bags with a thickness of more than 35 microns.”

Mr Alzayani confirmed that the availability of these type of bags will continue in the local market and can be used for various purposes.

He added that the ban was in line with the government’s plans of securing an environment that supports sustainability and reduces pollution.

“Several neighbouring and developed countries have applied similar regulations to limit the spread of plastic waste which poses a great danger to the environment and wildlife,” added Mr Alzayani.

“The ministry will continue to take measures that contribute to environmental systems protection and we urge everyone to co-operate to move forward in enforcing these efforts to preserve environmental safety.”

The GDN reported earlier this year that a decision to ban the manufacture, import or trade of plastic water bottles and cups below 200ml was enforced in January.

Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry assistant under-secretary for domestic and foreign trade Shaikh Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa said that the ban covers all plastic bottles and cups used to fill water of various types (natural, sparkling, flavoured and sweetened).

Shipments imported through Customs ports will not be cleared before being verified while inspections will be carried out at ports and local markets in collaboration with teams representing the Health Ministry and the Supreme Council for Environment.

Two years ago, in July 2020, Bahrain launched its second phase of the plastic ban.

The ban included plastic table covers while the first phase focused on single-use plastic covers as well as the ban on importing non-biodegradable plastic bags.

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