Dozens of countries across the world have waged war against plastic bags, implementing a variety of policies to help protect the environment.
From a total ban to imposing taxes, we take a look at some of the schemes around the globe.


Strict laws are in force across many African countries, with South Africa the first to introduce a levy in 2004.
But, in 2017, Kenya announced one of the world’s toughest policies on carrier bags, implementing a countrywide ban.
Those found to be involved in creating or importing plastic bags can face up to four years in prison or fines equivalent to around £30,000.


Bangladesh was the first country in the world to ban the production and use of plastic bags in 2002 after they were found to be choking drainage systems and causing flooding.
Despite the ban, plastic bags continue to be a problem for the country’s sewerage systems.


Carrier bags are banned in nearly all of Australia’s states, with the phase-out implemented at state or territory level rather than nationally.
The Tasmanian town of Coles Bay became the first place in the country to ban plastic bags in 2003, while the first state-wide ban was introduced in South Australia in 2009.
Bans came into force in Queensland and Western Australia in July this year, while Victoria is set to introduce the policy in the coming months.
In New South Wales – where a total ban is not in place – major supermarkets have removed single-use plastic bags in stores and charge for reusable bags.


Denmark was the first European country to introduce a tax on plastic bags in 1993. This encouraged stores to charge for bags and push the use of reusable bags.
Figures in 2014 showed Denmark had the lowest plastic bag use in Europe, at four bags per person per year.

United States

There is no plastic bag fee or ban across the United States as a whole. However, California became the first to introduce a statewide ban for all wholesale and retail businesses in 2014.
More than 200 counties have either imposed a fee or banned bags outright.
New York could soon join California with a state-wide ban after a Bill was announced by governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this year.