This investigation responds to a Ministerial Direction to investigate the efficacy of the ACT Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010 and recommend options to improve environmental outcomes. The plastic bag ban legislation came into effect on 1 November 2011. It has had two previous internal reviews in 2012 and 2014, and now independently in 2018.
These reviews have reasonably found that the Act has been effective in reducing plastic bag consumption and associated litter. The Commissioner made four (4) recommendations.
Technical analysis was undertaken by Australian National University for this review in the report: Regulating Plastic shopping Bags in the Australian Capital Territory: Plastic Shopping Bag Ban Act 2010.
This investigation led to the Commissioner initiating research and analysis to progress the circular economy in the ACT, Circular_CBR.
Ministerial arrangements for the plastic bag ban legislation changed, with responsibility moving to Minister Steel on 27 August 2018. On 19 February 2019 Minister Steel announced an intent to introduce legislation to ban all single-use plastics.
The Government response on 16 May 2019 reflected this change in policy, with two recommendations agreed, and two not agreed.
Since then the ACT Government has progressed and expects the Plastics Reduction Bill 2020 to be introduced soon. (for more click here).