The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has organised an awareness session for government and private sector institutions and the Green Business Network to familiarise them with the Single-Use Plastic Policy (SUPP) Guide.

A ban on single-use plastic products in Abu Dhabi came into effect on June 1, 2022, under the emirate’s integrated Single-Use Plastic Policy. The initiative prevents the sale of single-use plastic bags across all retailers.

EAD said that it published the single-use plastic policy guide in both Arabic and English to provide information on the policy to government and private institutions and their employees.

The aim is to declare Abu Dhabi government entities free of single-use plastic and non-plastic materials by limiting the use of these products and transitioning towards multi-use alternatives with less environmental impact.

The guide is a component of the SUPP which was launched by the Agency in March 2020 with the aim of gradually reducing the consumption of single-use plastic materials throughout Abu Dhabi, while promoting more reusable products.

During the session, EAD called on the government organisations to start implementing the guide’s procedures to be free of the targeted materials appropriate to their structures and activities.

The guide focuses on the ban of single-use products in all government offices and their presence at any events or activities organised by government authorities. These materials include single-use plastic and non-plastic bags, such as paper bags. This is in addition to single-use cutlery, including forks, spoons, knives, and chopsticks made of plastic, wood, bamboo or other single-use materials.

Other materials outlined in the guide are: disposable plastic and paper straws, plastic, cardboard or aluminium food containers, disposable cups and lids for beverages of plastic or paper, single-use plastic, cardboard and aluminium plates, and disposable chopsticks. Also mentioned are single-use plastic, glass or cardboard bottles.

The guide provides examples of versatile alternatives, such as cutlery made of stainless steel, cups, dishes, mid-size bottles and large mugs made of glass or melamine or its equivalent.

For the successful implementation of the policy, the guide urges government agencies to increase environmental awareness among their employees, fostering a positive change in their behaviour and encouraging them to participate and support institutional aspirations towards change. The guide suggests this can be achieved through the dissemination of information and awareness materials via internal communication channels and the hosting of workshops for employees to engage in discussing challenges.

The guide also suggests that government organisations can benefit from the Agency’s Green Business Network, which supports environmental awareness among institutions by providing relevant materials, hosting workshops, and organising various environmental initiatives to instigate change in consumer behaviour.

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