Which bags are banned?

The ban will prohibit retailers from selling or giving away plastic bags with handles 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.

What about bags with ‘100% degradable’ printed on them?

Lightweight plastic bags which are marked ‘degradable’ will be banned because degradable plastics merely break down into smaller and smaller flakes which remain as damaging waste for many years. Retailers should check with their supplier if they are unsure about the type of bag being ordered. Only compostable bags that comply with Australian Standard AS4736-2006 will be permitted.

Information for retailers

What if a supplier misrepresents the bags they sell?

Retailers are protected from unknowingly buying banned bags and supplying them to their customers. If a supplier provides a retailer with bags they know are banned, they will be guilty of an offence from 4 May 2009. Maximum penalty: $20,000 Retailers should ensure that the environmental benefits claimed by businesses supplying compostable bags are substantiated and do not contravene principles outlined in the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s publication Green marketing and the Trade Practices Act.

Will the ban apply to all retailers?

Yes. Every retailer in South Australia must comply with the transition and ban dates. Large and small retailers, supermarket and non-supermarket retailers, markets, take-away food and specialty shops must all comply with the ban.

What can we do with any banned plastic bags we have left in stock? 

You have until 4 May 2009 to use up stock or contact the following plastics processors to check if your bags are recyclable:

  • Advanced Plastic Recycling (Kilburn, Adelaide) T: 8359 4999 E: enquiries@a-p-r.com.au  
  • Plastics Granulating Services (Kilburn, Adelaide) T: 8359 1111 E: sales@pgs.net.au
  • Plastic Recyclers Australia Pty Ltd (Port Pirie) T: 8633 1999 E: factory@plasticrecyclers.com.au