Plastic Bag Environmental Levy
The Plastic Bag Environmental Levy is a charge on plastic shopping bags. It applies at the point of sale in shops, supermarkets, service stations and all sales outlets. Retailers must pass on the full amount of the levy as a charge to customers at the checkout. The charge for the plastic shopping bag is itemised on all invoices, receipts or dockets issued to customers.
The charge was introduced to encourage the use of reusable bags and to help change attitudes to litter and pollution. Revenue generated from the Plastic Bag Environmental Levy goes into the Environmental Fund. This fund is used to support waste management, litter and other environmental initiatives.
The retailer must charge the plastic bag environmental levy to the customer. The levy must be itemised on any invoice, till receipt or docket you receive. However, you will not be charged for all plastic shopping bags. as there are some exemptions. Certain types of plastic bags are excluded from the levy.
Plastic bags excluded from the levy
Plastic bags excluded from the levy include:
- Re-usable shopping bags that are sold for 70 cent or more
- Bags used solely to contain fresh meat, fish, ice or poultry (whether packaged or otherwise)
- Bags used solely to contain loose fruit and vegetables and other foods that are not otherwise packaged
There is more information on plastic bags excluded from the levy.
Complaints about breaches of the law
Retailers are required to comply with the law and charge for plastic bags where appropriate. If you wish to complain about a retailer who is not charging for plastic bags, you should contact the Environmental Awareness Officer of your local authority.
The levy is 22 cent per bag. Retailers are obliged by law to pass on this charge to you and your receipt must reflect the charge for the bag.
Where to apply