Waitrose & Partners has announced the introduction of a 25 fils plastic bag charge across its stores in the UAE. The British grocer is taking action in a bid to reduce waste from the environment.
As part of its Partners Against Waste sustainability programme—the company’s pledge for a waste-free future—all plastic bag proceeds will be donated to the non-profit conservation organisation Emirates Nature-WFF. By leading a journey of change, Waitrose & Partners UAE wants to inspire its customers to shift to using reusable, sustainable bags as part of their shopping experience.
Removing unnecessary plastics is not only a priority for the grocer, but high on the UAE Government’s agenda. This year, the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah announced a full phase-out of disposable plastic bags in all retail outlets by 2021.
According to the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, approximately 1 billion plastic bags are used in the country every year – an average of 1,184 a person, which compares with a global usage rate of 307 a person.
Sunil Kumar, CEO of Fine Fare Foods which runs Waitrose & Partners UAE, says: “This new charge is part of a gradual phase-out in line with the policies being introduced by the government across the UAE – and one that we are committed to following. We are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment, and while we know there is still a lot of work to be done, the removal of single use carrier bags is a major step in the right direction. So far, we’ve received really positive feedback from our customers.”
As part of its efforts to help its customers shop in a more sustainable way, Waitrose & Partners UAE has a line of reusable bags that can be purchased starting at AED 3.5, both in store and online.
A collection of ‘Reusable Produce Bags’ to eliminate the use of plastic when shopping for fruit and vegetables can be purchased for AED 21. In March 2020, the grocer opened its Motor City, Dubai branch – the first supermarket and car park fitted with environmentally friendly solar panels.