A distributor is a business or person that sells or supplies single-use retail bags to a retail store in the NWT.

Distributors must register with the GNWT and participate in the Program.

Distributors are also required to submit quarterly reports and remittances to the Environment Fund based on the number of single-use retail bags that they distribute or sell to NWT stores.

Retailers that redistribute single-use retail bags within the NWT must use the SRBP D3 quarterly reporting form.

Distributors seeking a refund from the Environment Fund for defective or unusable bags must complete a defective bag refund report. 

Distributors seeking a refund for SRB fees paid to the Environment Fund for bags distributed to non-retail stores must complete a Retailer/Distributor Refund for Redistributed Single-use Retail Bags form (SRBP RF3)


Regulations and Policies

All completed forms should be sent to:

Environment Division
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Attention: Waste Reduction Coordinator
Phone: (867) 873-7654
Fax: (867) 873-0221

All remittances should be made payable to the Environment Fund.

 The Regulations say that distributors:

  1. Apply to the GNWT and register as a distributor.

    Use GNWT forms and provide all the information the GNWT asks for.
    Must not sell or distribute single-use retail bags to retail stores unless they register with the program.

  2. Receive a written notice by registered mail, to find out if the GNWT approves or rejects the application.
    Receive the notice within 45 days for a new application, within 21 days for a renewal.
    If the GNWT rejects the application, the notice says why.  If the GNWT needs more information, the notice says what information they need and when the distributor must provide it.

  3. Provide any additional information within the time allowed.
    If not, the GNWT sends a written notice to say they assume the distributor has dropped the application.

  4. Must NOT transfer the registration to another person or business.

  5. Follow any conditions the GNWT places on the registration.
    Each registration lasts up to three years.
    Must not distribute / sell bags to retail stores if the GNWT suspends or cancels the registration.

  6. May appeal a decision the GNWT makes to:
    • Reject an application to register.
    • Amend, suspend, or cancel a registration.
    Appeal in writing within 30 days of when the distributor receives the decision.
    The GNWT reviews all information and responds within 60 days.

  7. Collect the $0.25 surcharge from retail stores, for each single-use retail bag they sell or distribute in the NWT.
    Pay the Environment Fund every three months.  Pay within 30 days of the end of the quarter, for the previous quarter.  Example: By April 30 pay the surcharge for bags sold during Jan/Feb/March.
    A parent company or other business may pay for the distributor.
    Refund the surcharge to retail stores for any faulty bags the store already paid for.  Use GNWT forms to account for refunds.
    • If distributors pay refunds for the surcharge on bags sold during the current quarter, they don’t pay the Environment Fund.
    • If distributors pay refunds for the surcharge on bags sold during the previous quarter, they can apply to the GNWT for a refund.
  8. Keep accurate records and submit them with the surcharge.  The records show:
  • Name of each retail store and number of bags distributed or sold to each store.
  • Number of faulty bags and the name of each store that reported them.
  • Total surcharge.  Any refunds paid for faulty bags.
  • Any other information the GNWT asks for.

Distributors may submit the records more often if they choose.
Must keep records for six years and provide copies to the GNWT if / when they ask.
9.       May pay a penalty for breaking the law.
The Waste Reduction and Recovery Act defines the penalties for breaking the law: a ticket and maximum fine of $50,000 and / or six months in jail.