Oman will start banning single-use plastic bags next year in an effort to reduce pollution and protect the environment.
Reported by sister publication Arabian Business, the ban will come into effect on January 1 2021, with those violating the ban faced with a fine of up to 2,000 Omani rials (US$5,200). Repeat offenders will be fined up to double this amount.
"Companies and establishments are prohibited from using single-use plastic bags with the aim to protect the Omani environment," the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs said in a statement.
"Plastic bags are often ingested by turtles and dolphins who mistake them for food," the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has warned. "High concentrations of plastic materials, particularly plastic bags, have been found blocking the airways and stomachs of hundreds of species,” it added.Oman’s announcement came less than a week after Abu Dhabi laid out its plans to eradicate the use of single-use plastics. Starting with a plastic bag ban by next year, the UAE capital has identified plastic cup lids, cutlery, straws, stirrers and food containers as the most damaging plastics to the environment.