Five months after the Supreme Council of Health ordered Qatar eateries to stop serving hot food in plastic containers, the ban has remained unenforced and flouted by most restaurants across Doha.
Packaging hot food like bread, tea and coffee in plastic bags and cups cause chemical components from the items to leach into the food and drinks, which could cause health problems after consumption.
In July, Qatar became one of the first countries in the Middle East to prohibit the practice – two years after Qatar’s Emir ratified a Cabinet decision on the ban. Many countries in the West have long adopted the practice.
But the government has not followed through with the 90-day deadline that it set for eateries to phase out the use of plastic bags, wraps, newspapers or any other printed material.
Gulf Times reports:
“Since we last read in the news about the plan to ban plastic bags, we are yet to receive any official notification from the authorities as to when the ban will become effective and what the alternative should be,” a bakery supervisor told Gulf Times yesterday echoing views by representatives of other outlets.
Some of the spokespersons had earlier voiced concern over the ban saying it could increase prices of bread and other products, especially khubz, which is sold for QR1 for a packet of 10 pieces.
Indeed, some of the eateries that have stopped serving tea in styrofoam cups, like the food stand at the Corniche, have raised the price of karak from QR1 to QR2.
But health officials say that’s a small price to pay not to consume harmful chemicals.
Have any of you ever felt sick after eating hot food served in plastic? Thoughts on this ban?
Credit: Photo by ilovebutter