‘Bag this advice - it’s time we all ditched the plastic’
By the end of 2012, hypermarkets and supermarkets in the UAE are due to replace plastic bags with environment-friendly paper or jute bags for carrying groceries.
We are less than six months away from this and supermarkets still continue to use too many plastic bags and do not offer their customers any alternative.
We are all aware that plastic bags are extremely harmful to the environment. The shift from plastic bags to eco-friendly bags will be a great initiative and should have been implemented before now.
This has been done elsewhere in the world but most people in the UAE rely on the use of plastic bags and only gradually will adapt to the change.
If the UAE aims to become plastic-free by the end of this year, measures should be well in place at this point in time.
Moreover, I have seen jute bags at some of the renowned supermarkets, but the staff barely make an effort to advice customers on the damaging effects of the plastic bags they hand out freely.
These jute bags are sold for a minimal charge but most customers prefer to use plastic bags at the counter instead of spending extra.
In order to promote the use of environmentally-friendly shopping bags, I think that the supermarkets and hypermarkets should either provide their customers with free jute or paper bags, or should remove all plastic bags from the counter so that customers will not be left with a choice other than to purchase and use these jute bags.