Retailers would welcome nationwide plastic bag ban

The NRA has welcomed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s proposal to implement a single-use plastic bag ban nationwide from 2021.

National Retail Association Manager of Industry David Stout says the retail sector applauds laws that are consistent across the country and allow enough time to avoid disruption.

“Retailers are happy to support environmental measures such as plastic-bag bans,” he said. “So long as the laws are simple and there’s plenty of time for the sector to prepare for the transition.

“It takes considerable time to educate both retailers and the public on the details of new laws. As well as for businesses to develop and implement new alternatives that are compliant.

“Retailers need time to research alternatives for single-use plastic bags and determine the impact on the whole supply chain.

“Currently, all states and territories, except for NSW, have enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags. Or they’re in the process of doing so. The nationwide laws will ensure a consistent approach across all jurisdictions.”

‘Orderly transition’

Mr Stout says the NRA would be happy to work with a future government to ensure an orderly transition.

“The NRA has worked with numerous state governments to help manage the transition,” he said. “We would be eager to work constructively with any future government on a nationwide plastic-bag ban.

“Significant resources are required to prepare retailers ranging from training workshops, information sessions and a media campaign to inform the public. Choosing 2021 as the start date ensures the sector has the relevant amount of time to conduct an orderly transition.”

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