National Retail Association launch campaign for plastic bag ban

The National Retail Association (NRA) has launched a campaign that calls on Queenslanders to get behind the state government’s 1 July ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said retailers had long-supported the idea of industry-wide action to combat toxic plastic bag pollution.

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“Our industry is behind the State Government for making this a non-negotiable for all stores right down to the smallest takeaway outlets, local markets and online stores, as it’s a crucial step toward changing overall consumer behaviour,” Ms Lamb said.

Global plastic bag pollution has reached with around 5 trillion plastic bags used every year, an estimated 160,000 every second according to statistics from Oceanwatch Australia.

“We know we’ve reached a tipping point and the retail industry is right in the thick of it as consumers demand more transparency into how the products they buy are produced, so they can support brands with ethical production methods and environmentally sustainable practices. Banning lightweight plastic shopping bags is another important step in creating a future-proof industry,” Ms Lamb said.

From 1 July, no retailer in Queensland will be allowed to give out single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags under 35 microns thick, risking fines of up to $6000 per offence.

Ms Lamb has asked shoppers to be patient with retailers during the transition period.

“Consumers will need to prepare by either bringing their own reusable bags and should expect to pay a small fee of around 15 to 20 cents for a basic reusable option, through to as much as five dollars for locally-made jute or hessian bag,” she said.

It’s up to all of us to do our bit. It’s a small change in our routine for a big impact on Queensland’s environment.”