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NT Govt - Ban The Bag Update


Territory Plastic Bag Ban

Plastic bag use in the Territory


Based on national consumption rates, approximately 40 million lightweight single-use plastic bags are currently consumed in the Territory each year. Recent national efforts have been successful in reducing the consumption of lightweight plastic bags from 5.95 billion bags in 2002 to 3.36 billion in 2006.  However, consumption of these bags is now on the rise again. The gains made in reducing consumption through voluntary, co-operative arrangements have now been achieved. The Territory Government believes that greater intervention is now required to stabilise or further reduce consumption.


Scope of the Territory’s plastic bag ban

The ban will prohibit retailers from selling or giving away lightweight plastic bags designed for single use. The Territory will follow a similar approach to South Australia. Northern Territory legislation will prohibit the supply by retailers of plastic bags with handles that are made of polyethylene polymer less than 35 microns thick. Retailers should check with their supplier if they are unsure about the composition or thickness of the bags they are supplying.

In the Territory, like South Australia, the ban will not extend to:

  • Reusable ‘Green bags’ (heavy polypropylene plastic bags designed to be reused over 100 times).
  • Recycled bags you bring along yourself.
  • Heavier retail (or boutique) bags, typically used by clothing and department stores.
  • Biodegradable bags that state they meet the Australian Standard AS 4736-2006.
  • Barrier bags, the type dispensed from a roll, typically for items such as loose fruit and vegetables.

When will the Plastic Bags Ban commence?

  • Legislation will be introduced in 2010
  • Phase out will commence in March 2011
  • Full ban will commence in June 2011

(Source: http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/environment/plasticbagban/baguse.html)


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