There are fewer than 100 days to go before retailers across Queensland will be forced to permanently bin the plastic bag when the state-wide ban kicks in on July 1.
The ban includes all single-use, lightweight shopping bags with handles and a thickness under 35 microns.
National Retail Association (NRA) Manager of Industry Policy David Stout says it is vital that businesses and consumers alike are well-prepared for when the ban comes into effect.
“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,” Mr Stout said.
“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.”
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Mr Stout says that from May 1 retailers may provide shoppers with alternative bag options that comply with the new laws, should they request one.
“Queensland retailers have known for some time that this ban is coming, and we have begun to see some outlets already implementing alternative bag options that are not captured by the impending ban.
“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 $6,000, not to mention disruptions to their business and upsetting customers.”
In conjunction with the Queensland government, the NRA has been conducting workshops across Queensland to ensure the industry is well-equipped to handle the transition.