The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Solar Homes

Media release: Victorian Government
Wednesday 19 June

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.

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

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.

“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.”

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

“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.”

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 legislation, visit https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/sustainability/plastic-pollution.


Retailer support

The NRA has partnered with the QLD, WA and VIC Governments to help over 30,000 small, medium and large businesses with state-wide bag bans in the past 2 years.

The NRA’s VIC BAG BAN Retailer Transition Program includes:

  • over 150 educational tours at shopping precincts across the state to offer information and advice to retailers
  • a dedicated hotline (1800 817 723) for retailers to seek advice about the bag ban;
  • a dedicated website (www.vicbagban.com.au) which includes:
    • detailed information on the legislation
    • advice on managing the ban as a business based on real-world experience
    • a suite of factsheets, posters, social media and other tools to help retailers inform their customers and team
    • a suite of factsheets and posters in multiple languages
    • hundreds of case studies of real Victorian businesses who have managed the transition, plus examples in QLD and WA

 

GO TO VIC BAG BAN WEBSITE >

Did you know?

By the end of this year ALL states and territories in Australia – except NSW – will have bag bans in place.

National retailers need to be aware of differences between legislation in each state/territory, as well as ongoing consumer and regulatory trends, to consider their options carefully.

Contact the NRA’s Policy team at policy@nra.net.au or call our dedicated Bag Ban Hotline 1800 817 723.