Sunday marked the launch of two new bag bans in QLD and WA. A total of 6 Australian states and territories now have plastic bag bans in place.
Several supermarkets and national chains also took the initiative to ban lightweight plastic bags in NSW and VIC where bag bans are yet to be implemented.
As expected, some people have complained or abused retail staff however the majority of customers have prepared well for an easy transition.
The NRA have been working closely with retailers and the state government for the last 12 months. NRA team members visited over 12,000 stores across the state to provide advice and resources to businesses making the transition away from banned bags. The NRA also launched a large-scale campaign with ambassador, Mal Meninga, across 100 shopping centres in QLD, helping retailers and customers to prepare for the ban.
In coming weeks and months, the NRA will continue to assist QLD retailers as fines of up to $6300 now apply for any retailer found to be providing non-compliant bags.
Consumers and retailers can now report suspected banned bags via the NRA’s QLD Bag Ban website (www.qldbagban.com.au) or hotline (1800 RETAIL).
The NRA have recently partnered with the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) to provide a comprehensive engagement program for WA retailers over the next 6 months.
The WA bag ban legislation was implemented on Sunday, July 1st. Fines have been immediately apply for suppliers who provide false or misleading information about banned bags. However, WA retailers have until the 31 December to phase out their existing stocks of banned bags.
WA retailers need to be aware that the legislation is slightly different to other states, and should access the NRA’s WA Bag Ban website (www.bagbanwa.com.au) or call the WA hotline (1800 817 723) to find out more.
Last Wednesday, the Victorian Government announced its intention join the other 6 states to ban lightweight plastic shopping bags in VIC by late 2019.
Over the past few months, the government has received over 8000 submissions with 96% in favour of a ban.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said that there was broad community support for a ban.
“We know Victorians want to do more to reduce pollution in our environment – we’ve received an enormous amount of feedback and they’ve told us loud and clear they want us to deliver this ban,” D’Ambrosio said.
The NRA will continue to be involved in the process, representing retailer interests and concerns.
New South Wales is now the only state in Australia to not have plans for a plastic bag ban. Given national consistency is better for all businesses and reduces confusion for customers, the NRA will continue to lobby for a nationally-consistent ban in NSW.
Have questions about bag bans across Australia?
Contact NRA Policy Manager, David Stout at [email protected] for any questions or advice on alternative bags and compliance.