Banning the bag to reduce plastic pollution

Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned across Victoria from 1 November 2019, under new legislation introduced to parliament by the Victorian Government.

Victorian Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio said the ban was a crucial step in protecting Victoria’s rivers, waterways, oceans and wildlife from plastic pollution.

The legislation will ensure all single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less will be banned, including bags made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic.

The ban will apply to bags being provided at retail outlets including supermarkets, fashion boutiques, fast food outlets, convenience stores and service stations.

These legislative changes follow an overwhelming number of responses during community consultation, supporting a ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags.

Work is underway with the National Retailers Association to ensure Victorian businesses are prepared for the ban and have access to sustainable packaging alternatives.

A plastic pollution action plan is also under development to help reduce other types of plastic pollution, in collaboration with industry, retailers and community environment groups.

The plastic bag ban is part of a suite of Government measures designed to reduce the impact of plastic pollution, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and strengthen Victoria’s recycling industry.

From 1 July 2019 e-waste will be banned from landfill, meaning anything with a plug, cord or battery must be deposited at designated e-waste drop-off points rather than going in kerbside bins.

This is in addition to the Victorian Government’s record investment of $135 million in the waste and resource recovery industry to create a more stable and productive sector.

Source: Vic Government