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Single use bag ban begins

20 July 2022

From tomorrow, 21 July 2022, traders will no longer be able to import or supply to customers most single use bags (paper and plastic) and must charge Islanders at least 70p for reusable ones.

The new Single Use Plastics Law is coming into force in Jersey, aimed at encouraging people to use carrier bags over and over again, generating a ‘bring your own bag’ culture, and supporting the global reduction in carbon emissions associated with production, transportation, and disposal of bags.

The law applies to all businesses, for example shops, takeaways, event organisers and marketeers. There are some specific exemptions details of which are available. 

The initial proposals for such legislation were successfully put forward by Deputy Inna Gardiner in her 2020 proposition, and taken forward for consultation and drafting by former Infrastructure Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis. 

Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Tom Binet, said: “Our Trading Standards team has been in regular discussion with local retailers, the Chamber of Commerce and many other trade bodies over many months now to help prepare them for this new law and ensure they are aware of the bag specifications that can and can’t now be provided or imported. I’d like to thank Deputy Inna Gardiner and Deputy Kevin Lewis for their work to get us to this stage. I’ll be working closely with the new Environment Minister on the implementation of the Carbon Neutral Roadmap policies that will encourage further behavioural changes to set us on the way to our net-zero goal by 2050.”

Posters have been distributed to shops and other businesses across the Island to explain the new law, and a series of factsheets are also available.

Deputy Gardiner added: “I never thought we would see this come into effect so soon after breaking temperature records. I hope Islanders embrace this cultural change and maybe even have a favourite bag they use every time they go to the shops. This is one way everybody in Jersey can show they want to protect the environment and do something to reduce global emissions.”

If traders have non-compliant single use bags still in stock, they can continue to use these for next six months, however they may be asked to prove the bags were delivered prior to the law coming in (21 July 2022). Traders failing to comply with the new law may be fined up to £1,000. 

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