Local businesses are being urged to get prepared ahead of the state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags which is due to commence from November 2019.
This new law will apply to all retailers and suppliers regardless of size or type – from supermarkets to fashion boutiques, from fast food outlets to petrol stations.
In the past Victorians have used over 1 billion plastic shopping bags every year. The majority of these bags end up in landfill and around 10 million end up as litter, polluting the environment and endangering wildlife.
“The Victorian Government has engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to work with Victorian businesses in preparing for the ban.”
The NRA will be visiting retailers in the Ballarat, Horsham, Stawell & Bacchus Marsh areas during the week commencing 8 July (2019) to provide advice for businesses preparing for the Victorian Government’s plastic bag ban.
NRA Manager of Policy, David Stout, said that it is vital that all businesses are up to speed with their responsibilities.
“Retailers should start to make the transition as soon as possible to avoid last minute decisions that may be costly and inconvenient for both their business and their customers.
“All businesses currently using plastic shopping bags face important business decisions over the next few months.
“For many businesses, giving a free plastic bag to every customer incurs substantial cost and current sentiment presents an opportunity to reconsider that habit.
“There is a wide range of alternatives out there now, and each choice could either increase or reduce business costs, not to mention impact on consumer perception of their business.
“Retailers and suppliers who do not comply with face penalties and risk disrupting their business and upsetting customers if they fail to prepare for the transition.
“Retail businesses have until November (2019) to use up their existing stocks of lightweight plastic shopping bags, Mr Stout said.
Mr Stout said that the NRA has partnered with the Victorian Government to help retailers navigate the new laws, advise on alternative bags, and minimise negative impacts on businesses.
“That is why we will be visiting shopping precincts throughout the region – to inform retailers about how the ban affects them and what they can do to minimise any inconvenience to their business and customers.
“We’ll also be providing information on useful resources, training kits and signage to assist retailers in preparing their teams and customers for the change,” Mr Stout said.