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Publications archive - Waste and recycling

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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Plastic retail carry bag use 2002 – 2004 consumption

Final report
NOLAN-ITU Pty Ltd for the
Department of the Environment and Heritage, March 2005


Appendix A - Plastic bag consumption calculations

HDPE Plastic Bag Usage

Table A1 presents detailed calculations of HDPE plastic bag consumption during 2002, 2003 and 2004. It is estimated that 25% of the HDPE plastic bags imported in 2002 were actually non-carry bag types, such as produce bags used for fruit and vegetables, and this amount (7 271 tonnes) has been subtracted from the total quantity of HDPE bag imports. In addition, it was estimated by industry that local production was 50% of imports during 2002, recent information from industry suggests that this ratio was largely unchanged for 2003 and 2004.

Table A1: Summary of HDPE Plastic Bag Consumption
Description 2002 2003 2004
Imported HDPE bags (tonnes): 29 084 26 481 24 629
Non-carry bags (tonnes): 7 271 7 271 7 271
Imported HDPE bags less non-carry bags (tonnes): 21 813 19 210 17 358
Imported HDPE bags less non-carry bags (billions): 3.97 3.49 3.16
Number of locally produced HDPE bags (billions): 1.98 1.75 1.58
Total HDPE bags, including local production (tonnes): 32 720 28 815 26 037
Total HDPE bags, including local production (billions): 5.95 5.24 4.73
% decrease from 2002: - 11.9% 20.4%

LDPE Plastic Bag Usage

Table A2 presents detailed calculations of LDPE plastic bag consumption during 2002, 2003 and 2004. It is estimated that 25% of the LDPE plastic bags imported in 2002 were actually non-carry bag types, such as bread bags or garbage bags, and this amount (3 878 tonnes) has been subtracted from the total quantity of LDPE bag imports. In addition, it has been estimated by industry that local production was 50% of imports during 2002, recent information from industry suggests that this ratio was unchanged for 2003 and 2004.

Table A2: Summary of LDPE Plastic Bag Consumption
Description 2002 2003 2004
Imported HDPE bags (tonnes): 15 510 15 569 13 992
Non-carry bags (tonnes): 3 878 3 878 3 878
Imported HDPE bags less non-carry bags (tonnes): 11 633 11 692 10 115
Imported HDPE bags less non-carry bags (billions): 0.65 0.65 0.56
Number of locally produced HDPE bags (billions): 0.32 0.32 0.28
Total HDPE bags, including local production (tonnes): 17 449 17 537 15 172
Total HDPE bags, including local production (billions): 0.97 0.97 0.84
% decrease from 2002: - -0.5% 13.0%

Total Plastic Bag Usage

Table A3 presents the summary of combined HDPE and LDPE plastic bag consumption during 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Table A3: Summary of HDPE and LDPE Plastic Bag Consumption
Description 2002 2003 2004
Imported HDPE bags (tonnes): 44 594 42 050 38 621
Non-carry bags (tonnes): 11 149 11 149 11 149
Imported HDPE bags less non-carry bags (tonnes): 33 446 30 902 27 473
Imported HDPE bags less non-carry bags (billions): 4.61 4.14 3.72
Number of locally produced HDPE bags (billions): 2.31 2.07 1.86
Total HDPE bags, including local production (tonnes): 50 168 46 352 41 209
Total HDPE bags, including local production (billions): 6.92 6.21 5.58
% decrease from 2002: - 10.2% 19.4%