Free support for Gippsland | Latrobe businesses preparing for Victoria plastic bag ban

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 this year.

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 Bairnsdale, Sale, Traralgon & Warragul regions next week 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 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, advice 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.

The NRA will be visiting shopping precincts in the local area on the following dates:
• Tuesday the 27th of August – Bairnsdale
• Wednesday the 28th of August – Sale / Morwell
• Thursday the 29th of August – Traralgon / Warragul

For more information on the NRA’s tour locations and times, business owners should visit www.vicbagban.com.au or call the NRA’s Bag Ban Hotline on 1800 817 723 for free advice.

For more information on the Victorian Government’s public campaign visit Better bag habits – Sustainability Victoria.

For an overview of the Victorian Government’s approach to waste and recycling, in particular plastics and plastic bags visit Reducing the impacts of plastic pollution – Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

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The National Retail Association is Australia’s largest and most representative retail industry association. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast food sectors for close to 100 years.
David Stout is available for interviews – Contact 0467 792 013 or 07 3221 9222.