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The countdown is underway for Queensland retailers before they are forced to permanently bin the plastic bag ahead of bans that will take effect on July 1 2018.

The National Retail Association (NRA) will be touring local shopping precincts to provide advice for retailers preparing for the impending ban on all single-use, lightweight shopping bags.

NRA Manager of Policy David Stout said that the NRA is offering advice and resources to ensure that businesses were ready for the transition ahead of July 1.

“In less than three months all retailers across Queensland will no longer be able to provide light-weight plastic shopping bags to customers,” Mr Stout said.

“Whether it’s grabbing groceries at the supermarket or picking up dinner from the local takeaway, lightweight plastic bags will no longer be available to shoppers.

“The ban applies to anyone who sells goods to customers, not just supermarkets or traditional retail.”

“All Queensland retailers regardless of size or type are affected by these new laws.

“In conjunction with the Queensland Government, the NRA has been conducting workshops across Queensland to ensure that the industry is well equipped to handle the transition,” Mr Stout said.

Mr Stout said that Queensland retailers have known for some time that this ban is coming, and many outlets are already implement alternative bag options.

“Some retailers may choose to offer alternative bags for a small fee while some might even choose to not offer a bag at all.

“It’s important to note that not all plastic is banned, and both retailers and shoppers need to familiarise themselves with the legislation.

“Retailers who do not comply with the news laws from July 1 face hefty fines of over $6,000 per offence, not to mention disruptions to their business and upsetting customers.”

The NRA will be visiting the below locations in Cairns on Tuesday 17 April:

  • Press Call at Cairns Central with Cairns Mayor Bob Manning 12:30pm
  • Smithfield Shopping Centre 2pm-4pm
  • Innisfail Chamber of Commerce meeting 6pm-7pm
  • Cairns Night Markets (Esplanade side) 9pm-10pm

The NRA will be visiting the below locations in Cairns on Wednesday 18 April:

  • Pier Cairns, Cheeky Yam Café – local business meeting 9am-10am
  • Cairns CBD 11am-4pm

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning urged Cairns businesses to embrace environmentally-friendly initiatives and thanked the NRA for their assistance in the lead up to the plastic bag ban.

“In the international year of the reef, we encourage businesses to consider our world class local environment and to choose environmentally responsible alternatives to plastic bags.”

“With the incoming ban on July 1, we encourage businesses to take advantage of The National Retail Association’s assistance to ease this transition, so we can continue to provide the best service for our community and visitors while avoiding any hefty fines.”

For more information on the QLD bag ban, business owners should visit, email, or call the NRA’s hotline on 1800 RETAIL.

Western Australia Plastic Bag Ban

The Western Australian Government is also banning single-use lightweight plastic bags on 1 July 2018. The ban will coincide with Queensland’s, and will bring WA in line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory which already have plastic bag bans in place.

For more information on the WA bag ban, please call 1800 817 723 or email