A huge development in the campaign against plastic bag use has occurred in Tasmania, with the government making a promise to make the island state plastic bag – free by the end of 2013. 

As an industry let’s join in this campaign and help make a real difference.

Pollution from plastic bags is having a devastating effect on the environment. Australians consume up to 10 million plastic bags a day, using them for an average of 5 minutes. Bags once discarded cause havoc on the environment resulting in the death of countless animals and destroying natural surrounds.

Tasmania has long been considered one of Australia’s most beautiful wilderness regions. By committing to the eradication of plastic bags they are building a sustainable future and ensuring their state retains its reputation. The ban will come into effect on November 1st, until then businesses will roll out campaigns to spread public awareness. This is a huge leap for Tasmania and sends a great message to organisations around the world trying to rid their communities of these harmful pollutants. 

The Tasmanian town of Coles Bay was the first in the country to ban the use of plastic bags in 2003 and ten years on, Tasmania as a whole now joins SA, NT and the ACT in achieving this milestone. 

Tasmanian plastic bag legislation is proposed to be introduced later this year by the Tasmanian Government to prohibit retailers from supplying single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags for the purpose of carrying the goods bought from the retailer. 

The proposed legislation builds on the increasing customer uptake of reusable bags and on initiatives already undertaken by many of retailers in Tasmania, including many smaller businesses which are helping to reduce the use of plastic bags.

The proposed legislation will apply to any business selling a product, regardless of the size of that business. This includes large scale businesses through to road-side vendors and community events, such as markets and school fairs. 

Single-use, lightweight degradable plastic bags will be banned under the proposed Tasmanian legislation. It will not restrict the supply of heavier ’boutique-style’ plastic bags (greater than 35 microns), or thin-film barrier bags used for wrapping prepared food and fruit and vegetables. There will also be no restriction on the supply of compostable biodegradable bags that demonstrate compliance with the Australian Standard AS4736 ‘Biodegradable Plastics Suitable for Composting and Other Microbial Treatment’. 

Environment Minister Brian Wightman said the state’s clean green reputation would be bolstered by the move and businesses will now start the public awareness campaign in readiness for the ban from November 1.

‘Tasmania’s environmental brand is one of our biggest natural strengths,’ Mr Wightman said. ‘This ban will help keep our communities and waterways clean, and help protect wildlife from litter that can choke animals or damage habitats.’

The plastic bag ban is now law, removing tonnes of toxic plastic from the waste stream, and from our natural environment.


Article compiled by Madonna Melrose

Makeup consultant, educator and beauty editor Madonna Melrose has been
involved in the beauty and fashion industries for nearly three decades.
Currently writing her first book, she still finds time to travel with
Olivia Newton-John when she is in Australia as her personal assistant.
Raising an 11-year-old son and tour managing her partner’s live music
shows makes for a very exciting and action-packed life. madonna@spaaustralasia.com.au

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