Plastic packaging and single-use plastic items make up 60% of all litter in NSW. Plastic litter breaks down over time into microplastics that eventually end up in our food, water and our bodies.
From 1 June 2022, the supply of lightweight plastic bags* will be banned in NSW. A light weight plastic bag is any bag with a handle, 35 microns or less in thickness at any part, and is fully or partly plastic. This means bio-plastic, compostable or biodegradable bags are also banned.
*excluding produce bags, bin liners, waste bags, and bags used to contain items for medical purposes.
How does this affect you?
This ban applies to everyone.
This includes commercial businesses – manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors, as well as retail and hospitality, as well as non-commercial activities carried out for charitable, sporting, education or community purposes by community groups, government bodies and not-for-profits. For example, charities, welfare services, religious bodies and education providers and fundraising events must not supply light weight plastic bags as part of a service, for regular activities, or during events or fundraising activities.
Supplying the item is prohibited and penalties apply, whether or not a fee is charged.
Make the switch
We all have a role to play in removing plastic litter from our environment, and we’re in good company - all other states and territories have already banned the supply of light weight plastic bags. While businesses and organisations may provide alternatives, these items still take energy and water to make and dispose. Bringing your own reusable bag/ encouraging your customers or group members to bring their own bag is the way to go.
Just the beginning
From 1 November 2022, the supply of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, bowls and plates and expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items will be banned in NSW. The supply of single-use plastic cotton buds and microbeads in rinse-off personal care products will also be banned in NSW. Together, these bans will prevent nearly 2.7 billion plastic items from entering the NSW environment over the next 20 years.
Find out more
Visit Department of Planning and Environment's website for more information.
If you are a business or organisation, you can call National Retail Association (NRA) toll free hotline on 1800 844 946, join one of their regular online sessions here, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.