The National Retail Association (NRA) has welcomed a proposal from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to implement a nationwide, uniform approach to single-use plastic bags from 2021.
NRA Manager of Industry David Stout said that the retail sector applauds laws that are consistent across the country and for sufficient time to minimize disruption to shoppers.
“The NRA welcomes the announcement by the Federal Opposition to implement a nationwide plastic bag ban, commencing from 2021,” Mr Stout said.
“Retailers are happy to support environmental measures such as plastic bag bans, so long as the laws are simple and there is plenty of lead time for the sector to prepare for the transition.
“It takes considerable time to educate both retailers and the public on the details of new laws, as well as for businesses to develop and implement new alternatives that are compliant.
“Retailers need time to research alternatives for single use plastic bags and determine the impacts on the whole supply chain.
“Currently all states and territories, except for New South Wales, have enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags or are in the process of doing so. The nationwide laws will ensure a consistent approach across all jurisdictions.”
Mr Stout said that the NRA would welcome the opportunity to work with a future government on nationwide ban to ensure an orderly transition.
“The NRA has worked with numerous state governments to help manage the transition and we would be eager to work constructively with any future government on a nationwide plastic bag ban,” Mr Stout said.
“Significant resources are required to prepare retailers ranging from training workshops, information sessions and a media campaign to inform the public. By choosing 2021 as the start date this ensures that the sector has the relevant amount of time to conduct an orderly transition.”