The ban on importing and selling most single-use plastic and paper bags in Jersey is now in effect.
From today (21 July), islanders will be charged at least 70p for reusable ones.
Traders who don't comply could be fined up to £1,000.
The ban was agreed by the last States Assembly in June 2020 following a successful proposition from Deputy Inna Gardiner.
The move was aimed at generating a 'bring your own bag' culture and helping to cut carbon emissions.
The original aim was for the new rules to come into effect in the summer of 2021, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed law drafting and the law wasn't given the green light until July 2021.
Businesses were then given 12 months to make the transfer to more sustainable packaging and get rid of existing single-use plastic and paper bags.
"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 (the previous Infrastructure Minister) 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." - Deputy Tom Binet, Infrastructure Minister.
The decision to charge at least 70p came as that was the most popular choice among retailers who responded to a survey.
The items banned are:
- Lightweight plastic carrier bags: A wall thickness of between 15 and 50 microns.
- Very lightweight plastic carrier bags: A wall thickness of less than 15 microns and not meeting the "OK Compost HOME" certification.
- Paper carrier bags: A weight of between 50gsm and 170gsm.
Some bags are exempt from this ban. They are:
- Very lightweight plastic carrier bags: A wall thickness of less than 15 microns and meet the "OK Compost HOME' certification.
- Paper 'counter' bags: A weight of less than 50gsm.
- Items wrapped in plastic packaging before being sold
- Gift bags
- Bin liners, dog poo backs, and nappy sacks
- Bags that are used to hold uncooked fish and meat
- Bags that are used to hold prescription medicine or prescription appliances
- Live fish or other aquatic creatures
- Transport goods such as at an airport, plane or ship
Posters have been sent to shops and businesses to explain the new law.
If Jersey companies still have some single-use bags in stock, they can use them for the next six months - as long as they can prove they were delivered before Thursday 21 July. Customers won't be charged for these bags.
"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." - Deputy Inna Gardiner.