Dubai Airports readies for ban on single-use plastics

Dubai Airports readies for ban on single-use plastics

December 16, 2019
Press Release: Dubai Airports

Change is coming to the world of air travel as the self-imposed deadline looms for a ban on all single-use plastics at the world’s busiest international airport, Dubai International (DXB)

Announced by operator, Dubai Airports, earlier this year, Dubai’s two airports (DXB and DWC) will soon be free of single-use plastics in a bid to manage environmental impact.

Since the pledge was announced in June 2019, Dubai Airports has been working closely with more than 250 of its concession and hospitality partners to fulfil the promise by the beginning of the new year. With 90 million passengers passing through DXB and DWC every year, consuming tens of thousands of plastic items from straws to water bottles to coffee lids daily, the plastic-free initiative has presented some serious challenges for those involved.

“This pledge is another step on a long journey to becoming a more environmentally responsible airport,” commented Eugene Barry, executive vice president, Commercial, at Dubai Airports (pictured above). “Along with our partners, including global brands such as McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Starbucks, we are committed to not only removing single-use plastics but in their place providing appropriate and importantly sustainable alternatives.”

The phased approach will see plastic cutlery, drinking straws, take-away food packaging and polythene bags removed from cafés, restaurants and shops at the world’s busiest international airport from January 1, 2020. During the next 12 months additional products will be replaced both in customer spaces and behind the scenes.

“Among the challenges faced, the biggest is sourcing alternatives for plastic bottles, one of the most frequently used and discarded pieces of single-use plastics,” Barry continued. “As we work to reduce and ultimately eliminate plastics from our airports, we are increasing our recycling facilities in the customer spaces and a new partnership that will allow us to properly dispose of thousands of tons of single-use plastic, each year.”

Moving forward through 2020, significantly more single-use plastic products will be replaced throughout the two airports by concession and hospitality partners.

Notable among them is fast food powerhouse, McDonald’s who will be replacing a total of 5,608,740 items with recyclable materials at Dubai’s two airports DXB and DWC.

Also, Costa Coffee which has committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100% renewable, plant-based ‘smart’ cup. The coffee giant uses more than 2.6 million cups a year in Dubai’s airports alone, so a significant impact will be made. A coffee cup lid made entirely from wood and paper fiber instead of single-use plastic will be introduced soon.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will take place at Cologne Messe, Germany, on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This