Update from the ACT
The ACT has recently introduced legislation to restrict the supply of plastic shopping bags. From 1 November 2011, the Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010 (ACT) prevents ACT retailers from supplying certain types of plastic bags to consumers. Retailers who contravene the Act risk fines of up to $5500 (for an individual) and $27 500 (for a corporation). The Act specifically restricts supply of lightweight plastic carry bags with a thickness less than 35 microns. These plastic bags are traditionally supplied by supermarkets and grocery stores. There are a number of exceptions to the plastic shopping bag ban. Retailers can supply plastic bags less than 35 microns thick if they are either ‘barrier bags’ of the kind used for fruit and vegetable or are considered ‘biodegradable’. The Act does not affect the sale of bin-liners or apply to thicker plastic bags.