Single-use Retail Bags

Please visit our new website for up-to-date information on the Single-use Retail Bag Program. 

The Single-use Retail Bag Program (SRBP) is the second program created under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act. It was implemented on January 15, 2010 to address millions of disposable shopping bags that cause unsightly litter in our communities and on the land. Disposable shopping bags take a long time to break down and use a lot of natural resources and energy for manufacturing and shipping to northern communities. They also take up space in our landfills.

Regulations and Policies

 How does the program work?

  • Consumers pay a 25¢ surcharge for each single-use retail bag they get from a retail store. The fee should appear on the customer’s receipt.
  • The retail store pays the distributor 25¢ for each SRB they receive from the distributor.
  • The distributor pays the Environment Fund 25¢ for each bag provided to NWT retail stores.
  • All retailers and distributors must register with the GNWT.


Click here for useful tips and helpful hints to help you remember your bags and survive without disposable shopping bags!


All retail stores must register with the program. These stores must also:

  • Obtain their SRBs from registered SRB distributors;
  • Charge customers 25¢ for each SRB distributed;
  • Indicate all applicable SRB surcharges on the customer’s receipt;
  • Collect GST on the SRB surcharges collected from customers; and
  • Remit GST to Canada Revenue Agency.

Click here for more information regarding retailer's responsibilities under the Regulations, and for all retailer forms.


All distributors of SRBs to NWT retail stores must register. These distributors must also:

  • Charge all NWT retail stores 25¢ for each SRB distributed to these stores (please note, the 25¢ fee already applies to SRBs distributed to any NWT grocery stores);
  • Remit all collected SRB surcharges to the Environment Fund on a quarterly basis;
  • Report all SRBs distributed to NWT retail stores on a quarterly basis;
  • Retail all books and records required for a period of six years after the year in which the books or records were produced;
  • Collect GST on the SRB surcharges collected from retail stores; and
  • Remit GST to Canada Revenue Agency.

Please note that GST does not apply to the fees a distributor remits to the GNWT's Environment Fund.

Click here for more information regarding distributor responsibilities under the regulations, and for all distributor forms.