Dubai Airport to be plastic free from 1 January 2020


In January 2020, plastic cutlery, drinking straws, take-away food packaging and polythene bags will start to disappear from cafés, restaurants and shops at the world’s busiest international airport.

Dubai Airport has partnered with Costa, Pret and Giraffe to herald new era of plastic-free air travel.

With 90 million passengers passing through Dubai’s two airports, DXB and DWC, the plastic-free initiative presents a huge logistical challenge to the management team and to every business in their supply chain.


The UAE alone produces around 7 billion tonnes of plastic waste every year therefore it’s a challenge they fully intend to meet, rolling out the ban with a phased approach with the aim for completion scheduled by the end of the 2020. 

The organisation believes the changes happening on such a huge scale as a result of Dubai Airports’ ban could soon become a template for other major transportation hubs and organisations around the world to follow.

Already 95 per cent of Dubai Airports’ commercial partners have signed the pledge to stop using disposable plastic in their outlets.

Costa Coffee has committed to replacing its plastic-lined cups with a 100 per cent renewable, plant-based “smart” cup. This will be followed later next year by the introduction of a coffee cup lid made entirely from wood and paper fibre instead of single-use plastic.

Pret a Manger, McDonalds and Giraffe are also on board, alongside around 290 other retail, and have started the process of eliminating consumer-facing plastic items from their concessions and replacing them with more sustainable alternatives in just six months.