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UAE to ban single-use plastic shopping bags starting in 2024

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday announced a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags to take effect next year, the latest initiative aimed at reducing pollution in the oil-rich nation.

The law would prohibit the import, production and circulation of such bags from Jan. 1, 2024, according to an announcement carried by the state-run WAM news agency.

A similar ban would apply to plastic cups, plates and cutlery from Jan. 1, 2026.

The UAE, a major oil producer and the host of this year’s United Nations climate summit, has declared it aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 — a target that remains difficult to assess.

Plastic bags are known as one of the most problematic kinds of garbage, polluting streets and waterways and harming birds and marine life.

Plastic takes decades to degrade and microscopic particles have been found inside the bodies of fish, birds and other animals.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, imposed a ban on single-use plastics in June, and the futuristic city of Dubai began charging around 6 cents for such bags in July.