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$275k fine for anyone providing this supermarket staple

·Personal Finance Editor
·2-min read
Two men holding single-use plastic bags at a supermarket and Australian currency in the top right hand corner to symbolise the fines that people now face.
Retailers providing single-use plastic bags in NSW will face major fines. (Source: Getty)

If you live in New South Wales, you’d better get your reusable bags ready with all single-use plastic bags being banned from today.

Any store providing single-use plastic bags will face fines up to $275,000.

The move comes ahead of a broader ban on single-use plastics in November this year.

That ban will include straws, coffee stirrers, cutlery, plates, cotton buds, polystyrene cups and containers, and cosmetics containing plastic microbeads.

"I think all of us can see the impact plastic pollution is having on our environment, which is why we're making major changes in NSW this year," NSW Environment Minister James Griffin said last week.

He said convenience did not make up for the permanence of plastic, and that single-use plastics made up about 60 per cent of all the state's litter.

"By stopping the supply of problematic plastic in the first place, we're helping prevent it from entering our environment as litter, or going into landfill," Griffin said.

Exceptions will remain for people with disabilities or medical needs that require using single-use plastics - such as a straw.

What bags can be used?

The bag ban does not apply to bin liners or supermarket produce and deli bags.

Additionally, the thicker plastic bags sold in supermarkets are not banned under the new laws.

All other states and territories have already banned plastic bags, beginning with South Australia in 2009.

Major supermarkets Woolworths and Coles also stopped providing single-use plastic bags in 2018.

- With AAP

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