Eilat Becomes First Israeli City to Ban Disposable Utensils on Its Beaches

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A beachgoer carrying drinks in plastic glasses at a beach in Eilat, 2019.
A beachgoer carrying drinks in plastic glasses at a beach in Eilat, 2019. Credit: Sasi Horesh

The Interior Ministry has approved a municipal bylaw banning the use of disposable dishes, glasses and straws, as well as the sale of food and drinks in disposable containers on the beaches of the resort city of Eilat, the municipality said on Thursday.  

Eilat is the first Israeli city to have completed the legal process required to ban the use of disposal utensils on its beaches.

Although the ban has taken effect immediately, fines will not be imposed until the Interior Ministry receives the appropriate authorization from the Justice Ministry.

Once the municipality receives the authorization, it plans to hand out beachgoers with up to 730 shekels ($228) fines for breaking law.

The bylaw prohibits the use of any disposable utensils made of plastic, aluminum, cardboard or paper “that are not intended to be reused again for the same purpose, including being returned to the manufacturer or for refills.”

Tel Aviv and Herzliya have passed similar bylaws which are also awaiting government’s approval.

“This is a significant step to protect the gulf,” Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevy said. “Eilat has been blessed with unique natural resources and we must protect them in every way.”

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel commended the bylaw and called on other local governments to follow suit.

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