CW In Focus | The fight against single-use plastic in GCC, India

GCC countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE adopt several initiatives to ban single-use plastic, as India follows suit

Starting 2 October 2019, which marked the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, India has implement a ban against single-use plastic, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement during his Independence Day speech on 15 August 2019.

Addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) during his visit to the US in Septemeber, PM Modi said that India was initiating a large campaign to make the country a plastic-free nation.

In the GCC, countries such as Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE have also initiated several moves to ban single-use plastic.

Bahrain passed regulations banning single-use plastic bags and the import of non-biodegradable bags earlier this year, with the products to be permanently banned in select malls and supermarkets across the kingdom starting July 2019.

Making the announcement at that time, chief executive officer of Supreme Council of Environment (SCE), HE Dr Mohammed Mubarak Bin Daina, said Ministerial Order No 11 for 2019, regulating the use of plastic products, would take affect on 21 July, 2019.

The SCE also issued guidelines for manufacturers and suppliers in the Gulf nation with the aim of reducing plastic waste.

Currently, 40% of household waste in Bahrain comprises of plastics, which Daina stated could only be reduced by prohibiting and regulating single-use plastic.

Kuwait has also followed suit, announcing that it would replace plastic bags with eco-friendly biodegradable bags across its Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies (UCCS).

The announcement was made by the chairperson of Kuwait Voluntary Work Centre, Sheikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in a meeting that was attended by deputy chairman of UCCS, Khaled Al-Hodheiban, advisors from Kuwait's Environment Public Authority, and officials from other local co-operative societies in Q3 2019.

Earlier this month, Ajman Tourism Development Department revealed that it would ban plastic products in line with the government’s efforts to raise significant awareness on the usage of plastic and reduce its impact on the environment.

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