Queensland retailers reminded of plastic bag ban

| June 5, 2018

Time is nearly up for single-use lightweight shopping bags in Queensland and retailers are being reminded that they will face hefty fines if they break the ban that starts on 1 July.

“Whether you’re a farmer’s market stall holder, run a local fish and chip shop, a supermarket or a larger chain of shops, the ban applies to you,” Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said today.

The Minister was joined by National Retail Association (NRA) chief executive Dominique Lamb and the association’s plastic bag ban ambassador Mal Meninga at the Toowong Village to issue a timely reminder and thank those who have acted early to stop using disposable bags.

“I want to remind those retailers who have not yet prepared for the ban that fines of up to $6300 per offence may apply,” she said.

“I have visited a number of retailers who have already made the switch away from plastic shopping bags and thank them for their early support.

“Everyone, not only retailers, need to be prepared to make the ban a success.”

The Minister said the ban was necessary because Queenslanders used approximately one billion plastic shopping bags a year, and around 16 million of them ended up as ugly and potentially destructive litter, polluting our beautiful environment.

“That’s the same weight as 96 small cars,” she said. “It’s a serious environmental issue and the ban is strongly supported by Queenslanders.”

Ms Lamb said Queensland retailers were ready for the ban and had been preparing for some time. “It’s important to remember that reusable bags cost more to produce, so most retailers will either be factoring it into their pricing structure, or charging a small fee to cover their costs.

“It’s a small change for a big impact and most retailers are really supportive. They can’t wait to play their part in reducing plastic bag pollution,” she said.

Queensland great Mal Meninga who grew up on the state’s treasured coastal areas, said tackling plastic pollution should be a priority for everyone who calls the Sunshine State home.

“We cannot afford to stand by and let the damage caused by plastic shopping bags continue to happen,” he said. “I’m calling on everyone to pick up the ball and play their role in making Queensland’s plastic bag ban a success.”

The ban applies to single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns. More information about the ban is available online.