The expanding plastic bag ban in Australia reflects a global shift to cut down on plastic use worldwide, including the use of lightweight plastic bags, single-use straws, and cutlery.
With the aims of contributing to a #PlasticFreeJuly, now is a prime time to get involved in helping to cut down on waste from single-use plastic bags, especially since many state-wide bans are already in effect around Australia and major retailers are stepping up their game to reduce in-store plastic use.
Responding to concern over how much plastic is ending up in the landfill and polluting Australia’s marine environments, many Australian states have already implemented a state-wide plastic bag ban.
South Australia led the way, with its ban on lightweight, checkout-style plastic bags coming into force on 4 May 2009. ACT and the Northern Territory introduced their own state-wide bans in 2011, and Tasmania followed suit in 2013. Finally, with their bans coming into force earlier this month (July 1, 2018), Queensland and Western Australia also introduced bans combating the use of lightweight plastic bags.
Unlike other states, in Queensland, the new legislation bans all single-use, lightweight shopping bags with handles and a thickness under 35 microns, whether made of HDPE plastic, biodegradable, or degradable material. Echoing this nation-wide trend, the Victorian government has pledged to ban single-use plastic bags across the state by the end of 2019, leaving NSW the only state without a commitment to a ban so far.
What’s more, supermarkets have followed suit, with Woolworth and Coles introducing bans on single-use plastic bags July 1, 2018 – although some leeway has been given to phase out the bags completely. Overall, for supermarkets, this is a part of a bigger push to reduce plastic use storewide, as both Coles and Woolworths continue to introduce new targets to slash the amount of wrapping on fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as tackling food waste.
What are the alternatives?
While reusable bags made from cotton or other non-plastic materials are the best choice, switching to paper carry bags and paper bags for fresh produce/takeaway food offers an eco-friendly alternative. Of course, a shift towards reusables is essential in the long-run, but paper alternatives offer a good solution to helping everyone transition to a plastic-free routine.
Paper Bags are:
- Made from natural renewable materials
- Recyclable and compostable
- Carry bags can be reused
- Quality made, strong and durable
Takeaway paper bags with paper fold flat, twisted and cut out handles – great for takeaway food deliveries and also work well as check-out bags.
Paper bags are a good option for storing your fresh produce, including both fruits and veggies, especially since storing your food correctly and keeping it fresher for longer can help you significantly cut down how much you waste.
Check out our wide range of paper bags, and remember that they can be customised to suit your brand's needs!