Plastic Shopping Bags

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Lightweight plastic shopping bags have been banned in Tasmania since 2013.

The ban applies to all Tasmanian retailers and shoppers are now encouraged to bring their own reusable shopping bags. ​

About Tasm​ania's Plastic Bag Ban

The aim of the Tasmanian Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2013 is to reduce the number of lightweight shopping bags that become litter in our environment and to reduce the waste of valuable resources.

Lightweight shopping bags are those that are less than 35 microns in thickness.

The supply of other plastic bags is not restricted. These include

  • compostable biodegradable plastic bags consistent with Australian Standard 4736
  • re-sealable zipper storage bags
  • heavier plastic bags (often used by clothing and other retail stores)
  • lightweight meat, fruit and vegetable 'barrier' bags
  • plastic bags that are part of the packaging (eg bread, frozen foods or ice bags). 

Retailer information

Retailers who sell or give away banned plastic bags to customers can be fined.

It is up to the retailer to source bags that comply with the law. Suitable alternative bags are available.

  List of suppliers of alternative bags   (94Kb)

Retail staff can remind customers that the plastic bag legislation applies to all retailers in Tasmania. You may wish to remind customers that the ban will help to protect the environment and wildlife by reducing litter and the damage caused by lightweight, checkout-style plastic bags.

Remember that you have the right to

  • refuse to overfill bags as this is a work health and safety risk
  • refuse to fill dirty bags as they are a health hazard to the customer, and you and your shop.

Actions for shoppers

  • Remember to bring your own reusable bags when you go to the supermarket.
  • Store some in the car so that you have them when you need them.

Disposing of plastic bags

At the end of their life, most plastic bags (including reusable polypropylene bags) can be recycled but DON'T put them in your kerbside recycling bin.

  • Most supermarkets accept plastic shopping bags for recycling. Look for the plastic bag recycling collection bin at the front of the store.
  • Biodegradable bags certified to AS 5810 'Biodegradable Plastics Suitable For Home Composting' can be composted.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)​

​​   Plastic Bags - FAQs   (179Kb)