From 1 July 2018, businesses can be fined over $6000 per offence for supplying a banned bag. This can mean a fine of over $6000 per bag if a retailer is caught supplying multiple banned bags.


What are the fines and penalties?

To ensure that all retailers are on an even playing field in regards to the ban, and that real change is accomplished, fines will apply after 1 July 2018.

The fines could be up to 50 penalty units (or roughly $6300) per offence for supplying a banned bag or for any person that provides misleading information (this also applies to bag suppliers).

The legislation

Section 99D of the Act Retailer not to give banned plastic shopping bag

(1) A retailer must not give a banned plastic shopping bag to a person to use to carry goods the retailer sells from the retailer’s premises.

Maximum penalty—50 penalty units.

(2) This section applies whether or not a price is charged for the banned plastic shopping bag.


Section 99E of the Act Giving false or misleading information about banned plastic shopping bag

A person must not give information that the person knows is false or misleading to another person about—

(a) the composition of a banned plastic shopping bag; or

(b) whether or not a plastic bag is a banned plastic shopping bag.

Maximum penalty—50 penalty units.


See the full legislation here >>

Important: the legislation allows the Queensland Government to include any bag they deem “inappropriate” at a later date. This may include plastic singlet-style bags that are only slightly above the micron standard as these could be perceived as going against the intention of the legislation to reduce single-use plastic bags.


How will the ban be enforced?

There will be both government enforcement and community led feedback mechanisms in place.

At this stage it is envisaged that the government sampling method will be modelled on the SA Government’s processes.

The Government may also introduce a reporting system (similar to “dob-in-a-dumper”) where consumers and other retailers can report businesses they feel are supplying banned or inappropriate bags, resulting in an audit of that business.


Other consequences

Businesses who ignore the bag ban may also suffer consumer or media criticism that could affect your business. Alternatively, shoppers may choose to shop elsewhere if your customer service employees handle the transition poorly, for example lacking clear notice or pricing on alternative bags. Download free resources, training kits and signage >>


Related articles:

Unsure if your bag will be banned? Contact the National Retail Association >>