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Plastic bag ban — for shoppers

Which bags are banned?

Since 1 July 2018, retailers are no longer able to supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness to customers, for free or at a charge. This includes compostable, degradable and biodegradable bags as they break down in the environment in the same way as conventional plastic shopping bags and can still harm the environment and wildlife.

HDPE (standard petrochemical) lightweight plastic shopping bags

HDPE (standard petrochemical) lightweight plastic shopping bags

Compostable, degradable and biodegradable lightweight plastic shopping bags

Compostable, degradable and biodegradable lightweight plastic shopping bags

Which bags are NOT banned?

Some plastic shopping bags and other types of plastic bags are not included in the ban. The pictures below are examples of the types of bags which are not included in the ban.

Barrier bags for unpackaged perishable food such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish)

Barrier bags for unpackaged perishable food such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish

Bin liners and garbage bags

Bin liners and garbage bags

Consider ways to reduce waste, especially by putting food and organic waste in a compost bin. Also consider reusing other types of plastic bags (such as empty bread or fruit and vegetable bags) or newspaper to wrap rubbish before putting it in the bin.

Single-use heavy weight department store plastic bags

Single-use heavy weight department store plastic bags

Plastic nappy bags

Plastic nappy bags

Dog poo' bags

'Dog poo' bags

Recommended reusable alternatives

To maximise the environmental benefit of any reusable shopping bag, it’s important that they are reused as many times as possible and recycled at their end-of-life, where possible.


Reusable 'green' bags

Reusable hessian bags

Reusable hessian bags

Reusable freezer bags

Reusable freezer or ‘cold’ bags

String bags

String bags

Cotton bags

Cotton bags

Heavy-duty plastic bags designed for reuse or multiple uses

Heavy-duty plastic bags designed for reuse or multiple uses