The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has enforced a ban on specific Styrofoam products starting 1 June 2024. 

The ban is part of the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy, which intends to cut reliance on single-use products in the country. 

The newly prohibited products include cups, lids, plates, and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, as well as food container vessels for products that are intended for immediate consumption. 

The ban excludes products not intended for single-consumer use such as large storage boxes, coolers, and trays for meat, fruit, dairy, and other food items.  

It also exempts all products meant for medical usage.  

The EAD’s secretary general Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri said: “Today, the Abu Dhabi ban on some Styrofoam products came into effect. Inspired by the success of the ban on single-use plastic bags, we expect to see emirate-wide compliance and collaboration from our stakeholders in the government and private sector as we know that by working together we will witness the best results. 

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“Our greater goal is to reduce harmful microplastics from entering the food chain, which can have detrimental effects on human health, biodiversity, and our natural ecosystems. We want the future generations to inherit a bountiful environment filled with all types of species so that they can live in proximity to nature as part of a fruitful lifestyle.” 

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) is facilitating this transition by educating more than 50,000 domestic commercial entities and 80 industrial facilities.  

The ADDED will also conduct subsequent inspections to ensure adherence to the policy. 

The Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy was introduced by the EAD in 2020, which was followed by a ban on single-use plastic bags in 2022.  

Last year, the EAD joined forces with the country’s government and private sector to introduce reverse vending machines for single-use plastic bottles.