Ras Al Khaimah Aligns With Pan-UAE Ban on Plastic Bags

Ras Al Khaimah has said a big NO to single-use plastic bags, starting 1 January, 2024. This aligns with the pan-UAE blanket ban on single-use plastics announced earlier this year.

Law No. 4 of 2023 issued by HH Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, which bans the use and circulation of single-use plastic shopping bags in the emirate from next year, was announced on X (formerly Twitter) by the Environment Protection & Development Authority (EPDA). “Single-use plastic bags are those given out at bakeries, clothing and electronic shops, and grocery stores, among others,” elaborates EPDA.

Ban on Plastic Bags

So far, five emirates have announced bans or have regulated the use of plastic bags. While Abu Dhabi has banned single-use plastics since 1 June, 2022, Dubai has been charging 25 fils per bag since 1 July, 2022. Sharjah followed Dubai’s footsteps, introducing a 25-fil tariff per single-use plastic bag from 1 October, 2022. In 2023, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain also announced a ban on plastic bags.

The bold move is part of the UAE’s national sustainability drive which prohibits production, import, and circulation of plastic bags. From 1 January, 2026, the Emirates will extend the ban to include plastic and foam products such as boxes and containers; cups; cutlery items like chopsticks, forks, knives, and spoons; and straws and stirrers. The decision, however, excludes some products, including thin bag rolls that are used to keep food items fresh, bags made out of recycled materials, and products that are to be exported or re-exported, provided they are clearly labelled.

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