BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 28 Oct 2009
Eco-friendly bags named 'earthbags' get a big boost from the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) with its recent announcement banning plastic bags completely by 2013.
As the MOEW had launched last week a comprehensive campaign titled "The UAE free of plastic bags", the jute-made products will slowly gain entry into the local market, claims the manufacturers of the bags.
The MOEW campaign will last for three years in order to reduce the negative impacts of the waste from plastic bags on human health as well as the environment.
According to Adel Maniar, Managing Director of Mak Creations, which distributes "Earthbags" in the Middle East and North Africa, the government's latest declaration protecting the environment has given them the enthusiasm to educate the public about the use of jute bags.
He said, "We aim at encouraging general public to use the earth-friendly bags that will help protect environment. The earth-bags are made from jute that will become popular among UAE companies led by Emirates Airlines which uses it for its first class amenities' bags."
"Being one of the strongest natural plant fibres, jute is durable and re-usable. It is a 100 per cent natural material that consumes carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Fabrics made of jute fibres are therefore carbon dioxide neutral and are naturally decomposable," he added.
The eco-friendly bag will be showcased at the Gift and Premium Show opening on Tuesday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 3.
According to Maniar, jute bags are an ideal form of marketing tool due to their customisable, colour variability and primarily environment nurturing characteristics.
"There is a far greater advantage for users of jute bags than just helping the environment. It is a thriving marketing method that is being used by many small to large corporations in the US and Europe," he explained.
He said that their factory in Kolkata, India has a manufacturing capacity of 1.8 million jute bags per year.
The anti-plastic campaign of the environment ministry includes three main stages, in which the first phase will long for above six months with community awareness sessions and education programmes.
While the second stage will focus on bringing out alternatives to plastic bags such as biodegradable products and other models in collaboration with private sector. And the third phase will last for more than a year to publicise the laws and will promote the importance of reducing the use of plastic bags in shopping malls and supermarkets.