Middle East

Many people in Kuwait are willing to pay for disposable plastic bags

By Shakir Reshamwala

KUWAIT: Plastic bags seem to be everywhere – parks, sewers, deserts, forests, oceans, and recent news, when Dubai authorities end the free distribution of disposable plastic bags in a more sustainable direction. Practice after announcing. “In line with encouraging individuals to increase environmental sustainability and reduce excessive use of plastic, the Dubai Executive Council has imposed a tariff of 25 fills (about $ 0.07) on disposable bags. We have approved a policy to limit disposable bags, “the authorities said. This decision will take effect at stores, restaurants, pharmacies, and courier services in early July.

In Kuwait, there are no restrictions on disposable plastic bags, and despite supermarkets trying to promote reusable plastic bags, there aren’t many takers because of the relatively expensive and free plastic bags available. Supermarket baggers typically put each item in a separate bag, and it’s not uncommon to see shoppers shamelessly grab an extra bunch of bags at the checkout counter.

Nevertheless, people are awakened to the threat that these plastic bags pose to the environment. In an online survey conducted by the Kuwait Times, the majority of respondents voted in favor of such a move as to whether Kuwait should also charge for disposable plastic bags. However, he pointed out that many people reuse it as a garbage bag. Others have asked authorities to go one step further and ban plastic bags altogether, skeptical about whether token charges discourage their use.

“Plastic bags cost money all over the world. Why don’t you go to Kuwait?” One user replied. “We sell reusable canvas bags at checkout. I’m tired of seeing the plastic ocean wherever I go,” another said. Other respondents to the survey requested the use of paper bags instead, but some pointed out that Kuwaiti waste needs to be sorted for ease of recycling.

People who opposed the claim of plastic bags had their own reasons. “We ban plastic bags, but we use recyclable alternatives. Everything here is already expensive and overpriced. We consumers are suffering, so it doesn’t make sense to add a little more to the equation.” The user commented. “We use those bags for trash, so make them free,” another person wrote.

Dubai officials explained their decision and vowed that this was the first step in a strategy planned over several stages aimed at completely banning disposable plastic bags within two years. .. “Since sustainability has become a global priority, changing community behavior to reduce an individual’s environmental footprint is important for protecting natural resources and environmental habitats,” officials said. Told. In March 2020, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced a “new environmental policy” aimed at eliminating disposable plastics by 2021, but the regulations have not yet been applied.

Last week, the Wildlife Group WWF reported that plastics have penetrated all parts of the ocean and are now being discovered “from the smallest plankton to the largest whales” and are an urgent effort to develop an international treaty on plastics. Is required. According to some estimates, 19 to 23 million tonnes of plastic waste flow into the world’s waterways each year, the WWF report said. A 2021 study found that of the 555 species tested, 386 fish consumed plastic. Another study examining major commercially caught species found that up to 30% of cod samples captured in the North Sea had microplastics in their stomachs.

To be fair, Kuwaiti authorities are completely unaware of the plastic problem. As a first step, the Environmental Public Service distributed 1 million eco-friendly bags to co-operatives in all prefectures last year. This is part of a campaign to raise public awareness of environmental protection and minimize the use of plastic bags. Ecobags are made of organic materials that decompose in hot water without adversely affecting air, soil or water. Each eco bag is strong enough to carry up to 10kg, but the expected weight for this move seems to be much higher.

(There is input from the agency)

https://www.kuwaittimes.com/many-in-kuwait-willing-to-pay-a-fee-for-single-use-plastic-bags/ Many people in Kuwait are willing to pay for disposable plastic bags

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