Queenslanders: are you ready to bin plastic bags?
IT'S NOT long now: just 100 days until Queensland retailers are forced to permanently bin the plastic bag so now is a good time to start practising using alternatives.
The state-wide ban, which kicks in on July 1, includes all single-use, lightweight shopping bags with handles and a thickness under 35 microns.
National Retail Association manager of industry policy David Stout said that it's vital consumers are well-prepared for when the ban comes into effect.
"In 100 days Queensland retailers will no longer be able to provide light-weight plastic shopping bags to customers," Mr Stout said.
"The new laws will apply to all Queensland retail outlets regardless of size or type and shoppers will have to either purchase an alternative bag or bring their own from home.
"Whether it's grabbing groceries at the supermarket or picking up dinner from the local takeaway, conventional plastic bags will no longer be available to shoppers."
From May 1 shoppers will start to see a roll-out of alternative bag options that comply with the new laws. "Queensland retailers have known for some time that this ban is coming, and we have begun to see some outlets already implement alternative bag options that are not captured by the impending ban," Mr Stout said.
"After May 1 if a customer requests an alternative bag that is not banned under the new laws, the retailer may provide them with one and can charge a fee for the alternative bag.
"Retailers who do not comply with the news laws from July 1 face hefty fines of over $6000 not to mention disruptions to their business and upsetting customers."