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Archived media releases and speeches

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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

1 August 2003

Plastic Bags


Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) Ministers from around Australia today welcomed the proposed Australian Retailers Association (ARA) Code of Practice for the Management of Plastic Bags and acknowledged that it represents a significant advance towards meeting the challenges of plastic bag use and litter.

The Code:

Ministers backed implementation of the Australian Retailers’ Association Code on condition that the Code includes the following matters:

If the Code, as amended, is not implemented and/or targets not reached, Ministers will revive the option of mandatory measures. Work on the development of these measures will continue.

Ministers agreed to support the phasing out of lightweight single-use carry bags containing HDPE within five years and will ask the ARA to enter into negotiations during the life of the Code to specify actions beyond 2005 to achieve this objective.

Officials will obtain legal advice on how the objective of achieving a transparent fair market choice between single and multiple use bags can best be achieved, and if necessary will consult with ACCC on this matter.

The ARA will be required to provide a revised version of the Code incorporating the matters specified by Council prior to the EPHC meeting in October.

Related Information

Commonwealth of Australia