Banning The Bag To Reduce Plastic Pollution

Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned across Victoria from 1 November this year, under new legislation introduced to parliament today by the Andrews Labor Government.

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

For more information on the banning of lightweight, single-use, plastic shopping bags visit https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/sustainability/plastic-pollution

Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Plastic pollution is a significant environmental problem – the actions we take now will help ensure Victoria has a clean and bright future.”

“The feedback on this one was clear. Victorians want to do more to protect the environment from the damage litter causes and are overwhelmingly supportive of banning single-use plastic shopping bags.”

“We’ve been working closely with businesses to plan for the ban ahead of November and we’ll continue to look at ways we can reduce other types of plastic pollution across Victoria.”