Plastic bag ban — for retailers
The plastic shopping bag ban applies to all retailers in Queensland for in-store and online sales.
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Act 2017 defines a retailer as “a person who sells goods in trade or commerce”. Supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries, chemists, restaurants and clothes stores, as well as market-stall holders and organisations which supply plastic shopping bags, are included in the ban.
Under the ban, shopping bags made from plastic film need to meet these material and reusability requirements:
- 35 microns or more in thickness
- be made from a minimum of 80% post-consumer recycled content verified by a recognised program or certification
- be durable and big enough to carry 10 kilograms of weight for at least 125 uses verified by a recognised reusability, durability or endurance test.
Compostable plastic shopping bags are allowed if they are:
- wholly made from compostable plastic which has achieved Australian composting certification (either AS5810 or AS4736)
- 35 microns or more in thickness, and
- durable and big enough to carry 10 kilograms of weight for at least 125 uses verified by a recognised reusability, durability or endurance test.
Certified compostable shopping bags do not need to pass the recycled content requirement unless the bag includes some non-compostable plastic. The non-compostable plastic component must have a minimum of 80% recycled content.
Retailers may choose to provide and charge for alternative bags, which can include reusable heavy-duty plastic bags, woven polypropylene 'green' bags, paper or other bags. Shoppers can also bring their own bag or trolley.
A retailer who is found to be supplying banned bags may be fined 50 penalty points per offence.
A person, such as a supplier, who is found to be providing misleading information about plastic bags may also be fined 50 penalty points per offence.
The National Retail Association (NRA) continues to conduct awareness audits with retailers. If any retailer has questions about their bags or wishes to arrange for their bags to be tested, please visit www.qldbagban.com.au or call the National Retail Association’s Retail Hotline on 1800 RETAIL (738 245).