From 1 July 2018, retailers will not be allowed to provide lightweight plastic bags due to the plastic bag ban provisions in the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017 passed in September 2017 by the Queensland Government.
To ensure consistency for the retail sector, Queensland will adopt a similar law to South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
However, unlike other jurisdictions, biodegradable bags are included in the ban in Queensland, as these bags still pose a risk to aquatic animals, a critical part of Queensland’s marine ecosystem and tourism industry.
The bag ban will apply to the following bags:
- lightweight plastic bags, less than 35 microns thick, with handles (‘singlet’ bags) including those deemed biodegradable, degradable or compostable.
The regulation will apply to all retailers – including supermarkets, convenience stores, take-away food stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, and other retail businesses.
The plastic bag ban will not apply to the following bags:
- barrier bags (typically fruit and vegetable and deli-style bags without handles)
- woven or fabric bags (like ‘green’ bags)
- heavier-weight plastic bags (like those used by department stores)
- bags that are integral to a product’s packaging (such as a bread bag)
- kitchen tidy bags.
Penalties also apply for providing misleading information about bag compliance, applicable to any person or supplier.