Manufacturing plastic bags has expanded considerably in 2011 amidst strict procedures to prevent manufacturing or handling plastic bags Plastic bags which are not biodegradable or which do not comply with the mandatory standards of the UAE which were issued upon UAE Council of Ministers in 2009, said Al Mulla.
His statement came in a press conference at the awarding ceremony of a new company, ENERPLASTICS to the list of companies which were granted the Emirates Quality Mark. ENERPLASTIC LLC is specialized in producing oxo-biodegradable additives for making plastic bags eco-friendly.
Al Mullah said that ESMA had conducted assessment activities such as factory auditing and test witnessing/third party testing to assess the compliance of the product to the UAE standard and the company’s production systems. ESMA also assessed the company’s technology in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2000 of quality management systems. He added that the technical evaluation was based on the requirements of the relevant product specifications and requirements as well as special terms of technology that help plastic products decompose and biodegrade.
He explained that ECAS procedures requires ESMA assessors to audit the factory, to evaluate the production process and taking samples from the bags to check the contents of chemical elements and their ability to be decomposed through testing at accredited international laboratories.
The certificate of conformity according to the EQM requirements was received by Mr. Aman ur Rahman, chairman of ENERPLASTICS. Al Mulla said: “ENERPLASTICS is the first UAE Company to get the Emirates Quality Mark in the field of oxo-biodegradable plastic products,” pointing out that ESMA has granted this mark to 4 companies from outside the country.
He added that ESMA has coordinated with the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW) in terms of assessing factories as per UAE standards on biodegradable plastic bags in order to set up plans to move smoothly into manufacturing biodegradable products and producing non-biodegradable plastic bags or those which are not compliant with UAE standards in the UAE as of January 2012.
ESMA required the factories concerned which produce oxo-biodegradable plastic bags to register under the Emirates Conformity Assessment System (ECAS), pointing out that the authority has started as of early 2010 on the registration procedures of UAE factories producing plastic bags, which aims to secure that biodegradable plastic bags comply with the mandatory UAE standards.
Al Mulla said: “Since its establishment, ESMA has sought to protect the environment, safety, health and to control pollution in the UAE community through the launch of several initiatives, the most important of which was preparing UAE standards for plastic bags and a scheme to ensure that they comply with ECAS requirements.”
He pointed out that ESMA has developed within its strategic plan a number of programs that aim to protect the environment in implementation of directives from His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to maintain and to protect the environment in order to provide healthy life and safe environmental for the country people.
Al Mullah explained that the biodegradable plastic bags are produced in the UAE since 2000, based on modern technology used in this field, adding that several years ago, production was limited and the volume of production gradually increased, not only from plastic bags but from other various products that are used in packing and packaging to meet the internal demand on such products within the country and to export the surplus to other states.
He said “In light of this expansion, there was a dire need for developing standards and specifications of the products traded in this sector and other sectors associated with environment friendly plastics.”
He pointed out that plastic bags and the overuse of these products in keeping food stuff and home needs may lead to many damages and would pose a significant burden on waste disposal.
He added that Emirates Quality Mark has become a strong marketing advantage for products at national and external markets as well as giving confidence to the consumer in the quality of these products.
Al Mulla thanked ENERPLASTICS which manufactures oxo-biodegradable additives for their efforts and to apply the best international and local standards of quality at its factories and on its products, commending the company’s drive to acquire the Emirates Quality Mark, pointing out that the products that get this mark, are reputable firms and has consumer confidence as a result of compliance with the specifications and technical requirements.
He stressed that “The Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) is one of the most important UAE programs initiated by ESMA to ensure the compliance of products with UAE standards and specifications.”
He concluded that ECAS depends on evidences and international standards when assessing conformity, noting that granting such mark to any firm refers to the effectivity of the quality system and its effectiveness as well as its ability to consistently produce good quality products in accordance with the UAE standards. It also refers to ESMA’s constant monitoring of the of the factory and product through market sampling and testing to ensure that the products continuously comply with the EQM requirements.
Photo Caption: Mohammad Al Mulla, Director of Metrology Department at ESMA, bestows Emirates Quality Mark on Aman ur Rahman, Chairman of ENERPLASTICS LLC.