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Plastic Bag Levy (Assessment and Collection) Bill 2010

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Plastic Bag Levy (Assessment and Collection) Bill 2010










(Circulated by authority of Senator B Brown)








Plastic Bag Levy (Assessment and Collection) Bill 2010




The Plastic Bag Levy (Assessment and Collection) Bill 2010 provides for the assessment and collection of a levy on the use of plastic bags at retail points of sale.  


The policy intention behind the Bill is to reduce the use of plastic bags.




Part 1 - Preliminary


Clause 1 - Short Title


This is a formal provision specifying the short title.


Clause 2 - Commencement


The Bill's provisions are to commence the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent


Clause 3 - Object


Clause 3 provides that the object of the Act is to provide for the assessment, collection and administration of a levy on plastic bags where such bags are used at retail points of sale.


Clause 4 - Definitions

Clause 4 defines terms used in the Bill, including "plastic bag". A "plastic bag" is defined as:

·          a plastic carrier bag with handles designed for carrying goods purchased by consumers;

·          a plastic flat bag, with no gussets or handles, that is designed for carrying goods purchased by customers; and

·          a plastic refuse bag designed for carrying waste.

Exemptions to the general definition of a plastic bag are found in clause 5 of the Bill.

Clause 5 - Exemptions

Clause 5 defines classes of plastic bags that are exempt from the collection of the levy. The exemptions include:

·          plastic bags used solely to contain certain unpackaged food products;

·          food packaging for in-room patient care at hospitals and nursing homes and not-for-profit services such as meals on wheels; and

·          paper packaging coated with polyethylene plastic on only one side.


Part 2 - Liability for Levy

Clause 6 - Levy

Clause 6 provides that the levy imposed by the Plastic Bag Levy Imposition Act 2010 must be levied and paid by the retailer. The levy is payable by the retailer if a good is sold by the retailer to a person and the good is packaged in a plastic bag supplied by the retailer.

The levy to be paid is intended to be 25c per plastic bag.

Clause 7 - Charging plastic bag levy

Clause 7 provides that the retailer must charge the customer the amount of the levy for the provision of a plastic bag, except if the bag is exempted under clause 5.

Clause 8 - Itemisation of levy

Clause 8 provides that the retailer must itemise a charge made under section 7 on any invoice, receipt or docket issued by the retailer.

Clauses 9 - 16

Clauses 9-16 outline the provisions dealing with the payment by the retailer to the Commission of Taxation of the amounts collected through charging the levy to customers.

The retailer must keep a record of the number of plastic bags in stock and purchased or acquired.

The manner and timing of for payment of the levy will be prescribed in regulations.

There are provisions relating to the late or non-payment of the levy.

The Commission of Taxation has the general administration of the Bill.

Part 3 - Miscellaneous

Clause 17 - Annual report of levy amount to Parliament

Clause 17 provides the Commission of Taxation is to present a report to each House of Parliament on the amount of levy assessed under the Bill and the operation of the Bill in the preceding year. The report is to be provided not later than 2 months after 30 June each year.

Clause 18 - Regulations

Clause 18 provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters required or permitted by the Bill or necessary and convenient for giving effect to the Bill.