Although we might be familiar with Barbie Girl’s famous ‘Life in plastic, it’s fantastic’ song lyric, it most certainly isn’t fantastic at the rate the oceans are filling up, endangering wildlife and the planet in general.

To combat pollution and to reduce – if not eliminate – the use of single-use plastics, the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi has decided to implement a ban on single-use plastics by next year.

The capital will do this by using alternative bio-degradable cutlery that customers need to purchase, stop sending cutlery by default unless requested (at an added cost to further deter the use of these) and sharing initiatives such as discounts when they bring their own coffee cups, for example.

A couple of notable UAE restaurants who have already jumped at this opportunity are Freedom Pizza and The Noodle House, whose #StopSucking campaign will help stop around 380,000 plastic straws from entering landfills and eventually the oceans.

You can do your part by opting for no cutlery every time you order delivery or sending it back if offered. Most people don’t realize that brand-new plastic-wrapped cutlery is often discarded once it reaches a customer’s table despite it not being used, which means a restaurant will keep ordering more and thus the never-ending cycle is repeated.

If we don’t do anything about plastic pollution, there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish by 2050.