Waitrose to start charging for plastic bags in the UAE

Supermarket to trial fees in Abu Dhabi and Dubai could soon follow

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Waitrose could soon start charging for plastic bags at its Dubai stores in a bid to help the environment.

The British supermarket has announced plans to charge 25 fils for the carriers at five trial stores in Abu Dhabi from Saturday June 16.

If the scheme is successful, then it will be rolled out to the four Waitrose branches in Dubai as well as Spinneys outlets across the city.

Funds raised from the trial will be used to reduce plastics across the business and support local charities and good causes.

Matthew Frost, chief executive of Fine Fare Food Market, said: “The challenge around plastic is underway and we want to be the supermarket leading that charge for the retail industry, fostering positive change and helping to create a more sustainable future for generations to come.

“It’s more important than ever for companies to take responsibility for their part in helping to reduce avoidable plastic waste and we believe that in order to bring about change, we need to help our customers make small shifts in their behaviour, to eventually lead to positive habits.”

In another eco initiative, customers at Spinneys branches in Business Bay and Dubai International Airport's Terminal 1 will be able to deposit used bags at an in-store exchange for other customers to use.

It's not the first initiative aimed at encouraging eco-friendliness across the city.

Late last month, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced 70 free spaces for electric vehicles in 40 paid parking zones across the city.

They are available at the Central Business District, Trade Centre area, near Burj Khalifa, in Dubai Marina, on Jumeirah Beach Road and along Sheikh Zayed Road.

Chief executive of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency Maitha bin Adai said: “Only eco-friendly vehicles are allowed to access these parking slots, and for a time limit of four hours.

“RTA is keen on spreading this initiative to high-density traffic areas and streets across Dubai with the aim of covering most paid parking zones in vital areas.”

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