Dubai, Jan 10 (Agencies): The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be free of plastic bags by 2013, the minister of environment has said.

Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, minister of environment and water, was speaking at the 10th edition of the ArabPlast and Tekno/Tube 2011 exhibition at the International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“The UAE will be free of plastics bags in 2013. The plastic and petrochemical companies are adhering to the measures we have in place to enhance the environment-friendly approach as part of their corporate social responsibility towards the community,” said Bin Fahad. 

At present, the UAE consumes 20 billion plastic bags, out of the global figure of 500 billion bags, according to the exhibition organisers