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Northern Territory Australia Bans Plastic Bags

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NT Parliament Passes Landmark Legislation
In November 2010, Karl Hampton promised that the Northern Territory (NT) would be plastic bag free by mid-2011. On February 24th, 2011, that promise came true when the NT Parliament passed into law the Environmental Protection Bill 2010.

The Northern Territory, with a population of just over 229,000 (1), is the third largest in land mass and is located in the north-central of Australia. Mr. Karl Hampton, Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Heritage, said this was a historic day for the territory environment. He called the bill “landmark Environmental Legislation”.

Environmental Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Bill 2010
The bill, also known as the Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags bill, was dual-purpose legislation. With the passing of one bill, two legislative actions came to be:

  • A ban from later this year on shops giving away or selling single-use, non biodegradable plastic bags; and
  • A Container Deposit Scheme (CDL) in late 2011 whereby consumers can receive a 10c deposit on eligible bottles, cans and cartons at registered collection depots.

    “This bill is a huge step towards a cleaner and greener territory”, stated Mr. Hampton. Mr Hampton said the legislation would have huge environmental and economic benefits for the Territory.

    “Every year Territorians throw away 40 million plastic bags and recycle only 10% of our beverage containers, creating landfill, killing wildlife and littering our beautiful environment”, said Mr. Hampton.

    “This legislation will ban the bag whilst offering a 10c incentive for Territorians to recycle eligible plastic, aluminium and glass beverage containers, bringing these recycling rates up above 70%.”

    With the passing of Environmental Protection (Beverage Containers and Plastic Bags) Bill 2010, the Northern Territory joins South Australia who banned plastic bags in May of 2009.

    Learn more about the Northern Territory plastic bag ban by visiting Territory Plastic Bag Ban.

    Source:
    (1) Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2010

  • (2) Photo: The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly building also known as “the Wedding Cake”. Credit: Ken Hodge 13. See License.