Plastic Bag Bans
Seven of eight Australian states or territories will have bag bans in place by the end of 2019.
The NRA supports bans on lightweight plastic shopping bags if they are nationally-consistent and support is provided to retailers.
Plastic in our environment has proven detrimental impacts upon marine wildlife including birds and endangered turtles. Australians consume many millions of plastic bags per year and tend to do this to carry objects from the point of retail sale to our homes.
There is overwhelming evidence that the modern consumer increasingly understands the impact of lightweight plastic bags on the environment. The timing for lightweight plastic bag bans compliments action which moves towards reducing the environmental damage caused by the widespread availability and use/misuse of such bags.
For many years, many retailers have been proactive in this area, providing consumers with access to alternatives and in-store recycling common across many brands and categories.
The challenge for retailers is the need for a consistent approach across the states and across all retail businesses to reduce complexity, minimise costs and relay clear information to their customers.
Bag bans across Australia
- The VIC bag ban came into effect 1 November 2019.
- The WA bag ban came into effect 1 January 2019.
- The QLD bag ban came into effect 1 July 2018.
- The TAS bag ban came into effect November 2013.
- The NT bag ban came into effect September 2011.
- The ACT bag ban came into effect November 2011.
- The SA bag ban came into effect May 2009.
- The NSW Government is yet to announce a ban.
To help retailers who operate across multiple states, the NRA has created a website which summarises all bag ban legislation in Australia.GO TO WEBSITE
The NRA Policy team has officially partnered with the QLD, WA and VIC state governments to:
- ensure retailer concerns and real-world challenges are represented to government;
- encourage nationally-consistent legislation that does not discriminate between retail sizes or types;
- provide comprehensive education programs to help retailers navigate the new laws.
Over the past 2 years, the NRA’s Bag Ban Retailer Transition Programs have delivered:
- education of over 30,000 retailers in metro, regional and remote shopping precincts across 3 states;
- a dedicated tollfree hotline (1800 817 723) to answer retailer queries about the bans;
- 3 dedicated state-based websites to provide information that’s relevant and practical for business;
- downloadable resources and government-endorsed signage to help retailers to inform their customers;
- social media campaigns to celebrate real-world businesses offering more sustainable solutions;
- large-scale marketing campaigns in QLD & WA shopping centres; and
- investigating reports of non-compliant bags in QLD, WA and VIC to ensure all retailers are fairly held to the same standards after bans are implemented.
A key part of the NRA’s Bag Ban Programs are 3 dedicated websites (see links below) which explain the bans in detail, provide advice on how to manage the transition as a business, and provide signage and resources for retailers to download and display in their store. The NRA team are also out on the street actively engaging with retailers about the ban, so there’s hundreds of photos on the websites so you can see how real-world retailers are managing the bans.
National Retail Association Sustainability Committee
Sustainability is a broad and vastly different proposition for the various channels of retail, however all have a commitment to the community and social responsibility.
The National Retail Association (NRA) Sustainability Committee seeks to minimise impact on the environment, whilst maintaining reputation and meeting the current and future expectations of customers.
The NRA’s Sustainability Committee aims to:
- bring together experts from across the retail industry, government and associated stakeholders to continue the momentum of positive sustainability regulations;
- consider the impact of retail activities upon sustainability, the community and environment;
- consider the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives, such as policy and industry mechanisms;
- contribute expertise to ensure sustainability policy is commercially viable and delivers sustainable outcomes;
- provide a non-competitive forum for key industry and government stakeholders to network and share insight;
- engage in ongoing dialogue between peers and specialists via the NRA’s private Sustainability Committee Linkedin Group.
Contact our bag ban experts
Call the NRA’s Tollfree Bag Ban Hotline: 1800 817 723
or email our dedicated teams:
Need more information about our Retailer Transition Programs? Contact our management team…