Why are heavyweight and boutique plastic bags an issue?

Boutique plastic bags are designed to be used once then discarded. Similarly, heavyweight plastic bags are sometimes labelled as 'reusable' but are often only used once then discarded. Plastic does not break down for hundreds of years and ends up in landfill or as litter where it can harm wildlife and the environment.

Items in scope

  • All soft plastic bags greater than 35 microns in thickness.
  • Shopping bags made from plastic-lined paper or cardboard.
  • Exemptions may be considered.

Benefits of the product

  • Lightweight, cheap and readily available.
  • Available in a variety of colours and designs.

Reasons for consideration

  • Made of plastic that takes hundreds of years to break down.
  • Non-recyclable in household recycling bins.

Possible alternatives

  • Textiles such as cotton, cloth and linen.
  • Cardboard boxes.
  • Paper bags.