Under the law retailers are retail stores and wholesalers. They must register and collect the surcharge.

If you think your business may be considered a retailer under the Single-use Retail Bag Regulations, please complete and submit the Application for Registration as a Retailer – SRBP R1 form.

Retailers that require financial assistance toward their first purchase of single-use retail bags under the SRBP may be eligible for a one-time interest-free loan. This loan must be repaid within six months. To apply, download the Retailer Application for Interest-free Loan form.

Retailers that require a refund for defective or otherwise unusable bags must submit a completed Defective Bag Refund Report - Retailer – SRBP RF1 form to their distributor. 

Retailers that redistribute SRBs to other retail stores must register as a distributor with ENR.  Such retailers must also report on a quarterly basis using the Retailer Redistribution Quarterlyl Report - SRBP D3 form. 

Retailers that require a refund for bags used for exempted purposes, such as for food service or prescriptions, must submit a completed Retailer Refund for Exempted Bags - SRBP RF5 form

Retailers seeking a refund for SRB fees paid to the Environment Fund for bags redistributed to non-retail stores must complete a Retailer/Distributor Refund for Redistributed Single-use Retail Bags form.  Download the SRBP RF4 form

Retailer Forms

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

In the summer of 2009, ENR sought the input of NWT retailers to help finalize the design of the Single-use Retail Bag Program (SRBP). A questionnaire was sent to 245 retailers across the NWT. Click here to see what retailers had to say.

The Regulations say that retailers:

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

    Use GNWT forms and provide all the information they ask for – new applications or renewals.

    Must not distribute or sell a single-use retail bag unless they register with the program.

  2. Receive 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 retailer must provide it.

  3. Provide additional information within the time allowed.

    If not, the GNWT sends a written notice to say they assume the retailer 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 for up to three years.

  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 store receives the decision. The GNWT reviews all information and responds within 60 days.

  7. Obtain single-use retail bags ONLY from a distributor who is registered with this program.

     Retail stores pay the $0.25 surcharge to the distributor when the store pays for the bags. 
     The invoice or receipt shows the number of bags and total surcharge.

      Apply to distributors to get a refund for any surcharge the store already paid on faulty bags.    
      They must use GNWT forms.

8.  Collect the $0.25 surcharge for each bag the store gives to a customer.

The cash register receipt shows the number of bags and total surcharge.
Retailers that registered under the original Regulations – grocery stores – continue to collect and pay the surcharge as they did from the start of the program.

Retailers that register for the first time under the revised Regulations may keep the surcharge for any bags they have in stock and paid for before Feb. 1, 2011.  

9.   May apply to the Environment Fund for a one-time, repayable loan.

The purpose of the loan is to help stores offset start-up costs – to follow the laws. For example, to help pay the surcharge for the first lot of bags they buy after January. 15, 2010 (grocery stores), or February 1, 2011 (all other stores). 

10.  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.

11.    May re-sell or give single-use bags to another person or business.

Must tell the GNWT and give them the information they ask for.

Retailers may apply to the GNWT to get a refund of the surcharge, if the person or business that receives the bags isn’t a retail store.  Example: a retailer re-sells bags to a restaurant or registered society.