Dubai’s plastic ban comes into force, and tens of billions of plastic replacement by Bamboo Fiber business opportunities emerge

Dubai’s plastic ban comes into force, and tens of billions of plastic replacement by Bamboo Fiber business opportunities emerge

Editor's note: In 2020, the UAE's food packaging market size was US$2.8135 billion, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% from 2021 to 2026, reaching US$6.19316 billion. Dubai will lead the growth of this industry.

Bubai ban plastic

According to data from Alibaba International Station, in addition to the traditionally strong European and American markets, the Middle East is growing very fast, with Saudi Arabia increasing by 110% year-on-year and the United Arab Emirates growing by 135%, becoming the fastest growing market for China's disposable catering packaging exports.

 

bamboo replacing plastic

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, issued a resolution to implement the plastic ban in phases.

The import and trade of single-use plastic bags will be banned from January 1, 2024.

 

From June 1, 2024, non-plastic single-use products, including disposable plastic bags, will also be included in the ban.

 

From January 1, 2025, single-use plastic products, including plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, plastic straws and plastic cotton swabs will be banned.

 

From January 1, 2026, the ban will be extended to other single-use plastic products, including plastic plates, plastic food containers, plastic cutlery and drink cups and plastic lids.

plastic will be replaced by bamboo

What else does the ban include?

 

The ban also includes food delivery packaging materials, thick plastic bags, plastic containers, and packaging materials partially or entirely made of plastic, such as plastic bottles, snack bags, wipes, balloons, etc.

 

If businesses continue to use single-use plastic bags, they will be fined Dh200 once they violate the ban. The fine will be doubled for consecutive violations within 12 months, with a maximum fine of Dh2,000.

 

The ban does not include plastic bags made from recycled materials, thin plastic bags used to package meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, cereals and bread, garbage bags, single-use plastic products exported or re-exported abroad, such as shopping bags or disposable supplies.

 

The resolution will take effect from January 1, 2024 and will be published in the Official Gazette.

The UAE government decided in early 2023 to ban single-use plastic bags in all emirates. Dubai and Abu Dhabi have banned most plastic bags by imposing a nominal fee of 25 fils on plastic bags in 2022.

In Abu Dhabi, a plastic ban was implemented on June 1, 2022. Six months later, 87 million single-use plastic bags were reduced, a reduction of about 90%.

bamboo fiber material

Dubai is the strongest and most flexible economy in the Middle East and has always been an important partner in China's One Belt, One Road strategy.

Trade between the GCC countries (including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) and China doubled between 2010 and 2021. In 2020, China replaced the EU as the largest trading partner of the GCC countries, with bilateral trade volume reaching $161.4 billion. China is already the largest trading partner of Dubai and Saudi Arabia. In 2022, the bilateral trade volume between China and Saudi Arabia was US$116.04 billion, a year-on-year increase of 32.9%. From January to October 2023, the bilateral trade volume between China and the UAE reached US$77.67 billion.

What are the business opportunities in the Middle East market for equipment and product companies in China's plant fiber molding industry? This article brings together the latest Middle East market-related developments.

 

Attention point one

Major oil majors in the Middle East have also banned plastic bags

Or for single-use plastic products?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministerial Resolution No. 380 will ban the import, production or circulation of single-use plastic (including degradable plastic) shopping bags from January 1, 2024.

The plastic ban will be implemented in four phases. From January 1, 2024, the trading and import of disposable plastic bags in Dubai will be prohibited; from June 1, 2024, Dubai will ban the use of non-plastic disposable products, including disposable packaging bags of other materials; From January 1, 2025, Dubai will ban the use of single-use plastic products, including plastic stirrers, table covers, cups, plastic straws and plastic cotton swabs; from January 1, 2026, the plastic ban will be extended to plates, Plastic products such as food containers, cutlery and cups.

It is understood that the Dubai government requires businesses to reduce the use of plastic products and disposable items, and to provide customers with affordable and recyclable alternatives to disposable plastic bags. Practitioners who violate the ban will face a fine of 200 dirhams (approximately RMB 389).

Previously, Dubai levied a fee of 25 fils (approximately RMB 0.43) on each single-use plastic bag from July 1, 2022. The policy will cover merchants in all sectors operating in Dubai, including restaurants, pharmacies and e-commerce delivery.

 

Attention point two

Food and catering packaging in the Middle East is growing rapidly

In 2020, the UAE's food packaging market size was US$2.8135 billion, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% from 2021 to 2026, reaching US$6.19316 billion. Dubai will lead the growth of this industry.

According to data from Alibaba International Station, in addition to the traditionally strong European and American markets, the Middle East is growing very fast, with Saudi Arabia increasing by 110% year-on-year and the United Arab Emirates growing by 135%, becoming the fastest growing market for China's disposable catering packaging exports.

Focus three

UAE on the tip of your tongue

The compound annual growth rate of the catering service market is 4.80%

The United Arab Emirates is not only a transportation hub in the Middle East, but also a gathering place for food and beverages in the world. More than 80% of the population in the UAE (about 90% of the population in Dubai) come from nearly 200 countries around the world, and they also bring food from all over the world. In recent years, the catering industry has developed rapidly in the UAE, especially in Dubai. While more and more international catering brands have settled in, local brands are also growing.

The foodservice market size is expected to grow from USD 12.46 billion in 2023 to USD 15.76 billion in 2028, registering a CAGR of 4.80% during the forecast period (2023-2028).

In order of consumption, Asian restaurants ranked first, accounting for 36% of the total, followed by Middle Eastern restaurants (20%), North American restaurants (16%), European restaurants (12%) and other restaurants (16%). . In addition, Asian restaurants are also ahead of other types of restaurants in terms of number of restaurants and number of consumer transactions.

High disposable income, rising tourist arrivals, increasing urban lifestyle, and changing consumer preferences are driving the growth of the foodservice market in the country. The lack of entertainment opportunities in the country is creating growth opportunities for the foodservice industry as Emiratis increasingly access foodservice channels to spend time with their families. With a variety of international cuisines available, the growing trend in markets such as food trucks and food stalls has also brought new experiences to customers, thereby increasing their spending on food out-of-home.

According to Statista, the size of the food delivery market in the UAE alone is expected to reach US$2.79 billion (approximately 20 billion yuan) by 2026, and the number of users will reach 5.5 million.

bamboo fiber dinnerware will be used in Dubai

Focus four

The food industry is the second largest industry in the UAE

Accounting for 11% of GDP and still focusing on growth

The food industry has become the second largest industry in the UAE. Food trade accounts for 11% of the UAE's GDP. It is expected that the total output value of the food industry will reach US$6.3 billion by 2030.

To further promote the development of the food industry, the Dubai government announced an investment of 5.5 billion dirhams (approximately US$1.5 billion) to develop Dubai Food Park. Dubai Food Park plans to cover an area of approximately 4.46 million square meters and is located in the Dubai Wholesale City under construction. It will be built into a one-stop food production and processing base to vigorously promote the development of the food industry in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

bamboo dishware

It is worth mentioning that as China-UAE economic and trade relations become increasingly closer, Chinese-funded enterprises are entering the UAE at an increasingly faster pace to explore the international market. During the China-Arab Expo in 2017, Dubai Wholesale City signed a cooperation agreement with China's Ningxia Fengchuang Fund Management Company to jointly develop a China-Arab Food Industrial Park project worth RMB 2.7 billion. The project park is located in Dubai Food Park, with a planned total area of approximately 400,000 square meters and a construction area of approximately 300,000 square meters. More than 30 food manufacturers will be stationed there. In addition, printing and packaging companies and cold chain transportation companies will be introduced. After the China-Arab Food Industrial Park is completed, it is expected that the annual output of packaged food will reach 120,000 tons, and the total annual sales will reach 3.2 billion yuan.

Attention point five

Middle East, global tea trading center, US$8.2 billion market

Chinese milk tea, which migrant workers in the Middle East buy from morning to night

  • The Middle East, the global tea trading center

The tea market in the Middle East is far larger than imagined. According to a survey data report by research company Research and Markets, the retail price of the tea market in the Middle East is expected to grow from US$3.33 billion in 2015 to approximately US$8.2 billion by 2025. Tea and coffee consumption has more than tripled in Arab countries over the past decade. Currently, per capita tea consumption in the UAE has exceeded 8 kilograms, far exceeding that of any other country in the world. In addition to tea, the demand for tea sets, tea trays and tea utensils is also growing.

bamboo fiber plates

New Chinese tea drinks have begun to rush for gold in the Middle East. In Dubai, the economic and financial center of the Middle East, Chinese milk tea shops are springing up everywhere. According to statistics, each store can sell an average of 500 cups of milk tea every day, and each cup of milk tea sells for about 50 yuan. It can be said that this is a very promising business. In Liuguo Mall, new tea brands face fierce competition. Chinese and Japanese milk tea brands such as Happy Lemon, Latea and Sushi Your Way are competing here. In addition, international chain brands such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Dunkin and Costa, as well as local brand Smoothie Factory, have also attracted consumers' attention.

bamboo straw

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