UAE environmental officials have announced a plan to ban all plastic carrier bags by 2013 in a bid to reduce the amount of waste the country produces.
Some two billion plastic bags were made in the UAE last year, Gulf News reports, many of which are not reused and end up in landfill sites.
By 2013, the Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEWsaid it wants all residents to use alternatives like cotton or biodegradable plastic bags instead.
The ministry is also looking to extend the ban once it comes into effect to other plastic products, like drink bottles and food packaging, Mariam Al Shenasi, executive director for technical affairs at the ministry, told the paper.
She told the paper there was "no way they [plastic bags] will be allowed" after 2013. She was speaking at the launch of the ministry's three-year awareness campaign to highlight the damage plastic bags cause to the environment.
The production and disposal of plastic adds to CO2 emissions, and the dumping of them contributes to pollution problems, as well as threatens wildlife.