(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Efforts of Qatar's Ministry of Municipality and Environment to help protect the environment has got a further boost with more retailers starting to use biodegradable and reusable bags.
LuLu Hypermarket, for example, introduced paper bags during the opening of its 10th store at Al Hilal in Doha earlier this week, joining some other major outlets across the country, including Monoprix, Carrefour and Ikea, which adopt environmentally sustainable practices.
'Our motto is to reduce plastic use because it is creating huge problems in the world, Lulu's regional manager Shavanas P M told Gulf Times, adding that such initiatives provides customers more options to be earth-friendly as they shop for grocery items.
LuLu also printed a message on each of its paper bags, made from 100% recycled paper, saying 'Good for the planet, Good for us, aimed at creating public awareness on the importance of using safer alternatives.
IKEA and Monoprix in Qatar have long been using paper bags
LuLu Hypermarket's plastic bags are 100% biodegradable
Besides shifting to biodegradable plastics, he noted that they also have reusable bags at cheaper costs, which can be used multiple times.
If damaged, Shavanas said LuLu will replace the bag with a new one since it has a lifetime warranty. This move, he added, aims to encourage shoppers 'to make a habit of always bringing with them their reusable bags.
LuLu also became the first in the region to allow customers to borrow shopping bags in an effort to cut down on plastic waste.
In a press statement, Lulu noted that 'the scheme allows shoppers who have forgotten a shopping bag or purchased more than expected, to borrow a bag rather than purchase one.
Many residents lauded such environment-friendly initiatives, which promotes recycling and reusing of paper and other bags made of strong and sustainable materials.
'It's good we have a number of Ikea's Frakta bag at home, we use it as a laundry basket and to carry a variety of items when going out for a picnic, it is very durable said a Filipino expatriate, adding that she also finds Ikea's paper bags useful.
'I hope that more supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as other business establishments across the country, will also follow the same path, she stressed.
The MME, which marked the International Plastic Bag Free Day in Doha last month, has been encouraging the efforts and initiatives of civil society organisations to protect the environment.
In co-operation with Carrefour Qatar, the MME organised a number of public awareness activities during the event aimed at educating the public on the need to limit the use of plastic bags.