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Plastic bag debate continues

December 03, 2016

Across Australia, many of the State and Territory Governments are in varying stages of considering or enacting legislation to ban the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags.

As this issue arises in the various jurisdictions across the country, the National Retail Association seeks to work with the relevant government to implement a solution that recognises the political reality of the situation, while minimising the impact on retailers and their customers.

Most importantly, we are working hard to try and ensure the rules do not differ significantly from state to state, which would risk creating a red tape nightmare for retailers whose operations cross state borders.

At the moment, the Queensland Government and Opposition have both committed to a future ban on lightweight bags. Queensland is also in the process of implementing a container refund system in Queensland. Plastic bags are a conspicuous component of the litter stream and are known to entrap and harm wildlife.

The Queensland Government has acknowledged that its proposal for a ban from July 2018 will impact on the manner in which retailers do business, and also the expectations of their customers.

It has released a discussion paper and is accepting submissions on the subject until February 27.

The NRA will be making a submission on behalf of members and the wider retail sector, but retailers who will be affected by the policy should also consider making their own brief submission.

The discussion paper and details on making a submission can be viewed here. Consultation will close on 27 February.

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