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Northern Territory Legislation Explained

Legislation in the Northern Territory differs compared to other states, as although the legislation against single-use lightweight checkout style bags is enforceable statewide, other bans only apply to events held on Darwin City Council land.

The government are yet to specify dates and details however, the next steps moving forward may see enforcement of these bans at a statewide level. 

The shift away from problematic single-use plastics drew a mostly positive response on social media, with consumers agreeing that phasing out of single-use plastics is necessary, and acknowledging the ban as a positive initiative from the Darwin City Council.

Key dates


The ban was introduced and prohibits the use of single-use plastic products from all events held on Council land including markets.

The ban applies to the following items:

  • Single-use plastic disposable coffee cups and lids
  • Single-use plastic smoothie cups and lids
  • Single-use plastic straws
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
  • Single-use plastic beverage stirrers
  • Single-use plastic plates, bowls and takeaway containers
  • Deliberate release of helium balloons.


An exemption to the ban applies to individuals with a disability or medical need to use a straw.

This exemption Is specific to the NT and does not apply in all states.

Detpak endura tray filled with salad and pictured with a wooden fork, at the beach.
Hands filled with microplastic particles found at the beach.

Enforcement & Penalties

The City of Darwin have not yet released a statement on enforcement and penalties for failure to comply. However, market stall holders were given a transition period since the enforcement of the ban on January 1, 2019, allowing them to finish their current stock before switching to sustainable options that are compliant with the legislation.

The City of Darwin envisaged that by the end of 2019, the markets would be single-use plastic free.

More information available here.


Head back to the Single-use Problematic Plastics in Australia home page, here.

Contact us about moving to Towards 2025 compliant packaging, here.

Browse our range of sustainable legislative compliant packaging, here.

Your Compliant Options


Item: M429S0010

AUD 90.26* / Carton (500) | AUD 0.18 EA


Item: N144S0001

AUD 98.41* / Carton (1,000) | AUD 0.10 EA


Item: Y707S0350

AUD 120.38* / Carton (400) | AUD 0.30 EA

Looking for packaging compliant with current legislation?