Waitrose considering charging for plastic bags in Dubai

It follows a trial of the initiative in Abu Dhabi

Waitrose could soon be charging for plastic bags in Dubai as part of an initiative to help the environment.

The British supermarket has been trialling the scheme at its five stores in Abu Dhabi – with each carrier costing 25 fils.

And now it has been revealed that 5,728 reusable plastic bags were sold in just two weeks.

That has resulted in a 74 per cent reduction in single-use carriers.

It's a remarkable rise, considering the supermarket sold only 60 reusable bags in the same period last year.

Now Waitrose is considering rolling out the scheme to its four branches in Dubai as well as at Spinneys outlets across the city.

Chief executive Matthew Frost said: “There is always more we can do, but these initial findings show us that the community fully supports our decision and we hope that following conclusion of the trial, this initiative can be rolled out across of all our nine stores and beyond.”

He added: “We may only be two weeks into our plastic bag charge trial, but the fantastic uptake shows customers are willing to make small changes to their behaviour to help bring about a positive effect on the environment.

“The plummeting plastic bag use, 74 per cent in the first two weeks of the initiative, demonstrates the benefits that just a small change in our everyday lives can make.”

There is also an in-store bag exchange, where customers can deposit any used carriers for other shoppers to use.

It has already been rolled out across all Waitrose stores – something the company says is making it easier for shoppers to recycle, reuse and reduce their plastic use.

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

Earlier this year, 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 at the time of launch: “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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