Single-use plastic bags have been banned in Oman, according to a recent announcement on Sunday. The expectation is to be completely rid of them by 1 January 2021.
A statement by the Omani Environment Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs said: "Companies and establishments are prohibited from using single-use plastic bags with the aim to protect the Omani environment."
Offenders that break this rule can be fined anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 Omani rials (that's a whopping Dhs9,500-19,000). Just ditch the plastic, people. It isn't worth it. Literally.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had explained the effect of bags on animals by saying, "Plastic bags are often ingested by turtles and dolphins who mistake them for food. High concentrations of plastic materials, particularly plastic bags, have been found blocking the airways and stomachs of hundreds of species.” So yes, the turtles still need saving. And these are some real ways to do it.
Oman's announcement was shortly following Abu Dhabi's initiative to acheive the same goal by 2021. Single-use plastics (including coffee cup lids, plastic cutlery and disposable packaging) will first come with charges, before being completely banned.
.@EADTweets launched a progressive policy to reduce consumption of single-use plastics in the emirate. The policy will ban single-use plastic bags, encourage using reusable bags, and introduce a levy on plastics with sustainable alternatives pic.twitter.com/aOGj0bNyYD— Abu Dhabi Government Media Office (@admediaoffice) March 9, 2020
Certain retail outlets will also be enforcing a bottle return deposit scheme so you can save while saving the earth!