11 June 2021
A draft law has been proposed by the Infrastructure Minister to set the minimum price for a 'bag for life' at 70 pence and to ban traders from supplying many 'single use' plastic and paper bags.
The proposed minimum price of 70 pence follows consultation with the industry and is in line with research that found it is the critical point in supporting a change in behaviour away from repeatedly buying new bags.
In June 2020, the States Assembly supported Deputy Inna Gardiner's proposition to ban the supply and distribution of specific types of single-use plastic and paper bags by all retailers. Deputy Gardiner also proposed setting a minimum price for reusable plastic carrier bags known as 'bags for life.' Following the consultation with retailers the proposed legislation has now been drafted and the proposition lodged by the Minister for Infrastructure.
Traders wishing to continue to provide bags for life will have to charge at least 70 pence under the new draft Single-Use Plastics legislation. The chargeable bags fall under two categories:
- a plastic bag for life, which is a carrier bag with or without a handle made of recyclable plastic with a wall thickness of 50 microns or above
- a paper bag for life, which is a carrier bag with or without a handle made of recyclable paper to a weight of 170gsm or above
The decision to include paper bags in the legislation is to encourage Islanders to bring their own bags when shopping and to change behaviour away from a throwaway culture.
Certain bags would be exempt, including bin liners, dog poo bags and nappy sacks, these can be purchased and used for their intended purpose.
Deputy Kevin Lewis, Minister for Infrastructure, said: "The law has been drafted to support the proposition aimed at reducing waste and supporting Jersey's Carbon Neutral Strategy. Bans on specific types of single use plastics are becoming more common place across the world, I am pleased we are leading the way in the British Isles on this proposed legislation.
"This legislation also paves the way to apply to other avoidable single use plastics in the future."
The draft Single Use Plastics etc. (Restrictions) (Jersey) Law 202 will be debated in July.