Victorian businesses are being urged to get prepared ahead of the state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags including compostable, degradable and biodegradable plastics, which is due to commence from November this year.
By the end of this year, all Australian states and territories, except New South Wales, will have a ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags.
The Victorian ban will apply to all retailers and suppliers regardless of size or type – from supermarkets to fashion boutiques, from fast food outlets to petrol stations.
NRA Manager of Policy, David Stout, said that it is vital that all businesses are up to speed with their responsibilities.
“Retailers and suppliers who do not comply with the new laws will face penalties and risk disrupting their business and upsetting customers if they fail to prepare for the transition.
“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.
Free support for Victorian businesses
As with Queensland and Western Australia last year, the Victorian Government has engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to to help Victorian retailers navigate the new laws, advise on alternative bags, and minimise negative impacts on businesses.
“We’re currently out on the streets, visiting over 100 shopping precincts across the state to inform retailers about how the ban affects them and what they can do to minimise any inconvenience to their business and customers,” Mr Stout said.
“We’ve also launched a dedicated website, www.vicbagban.com.au, that offers businesses all the information and resources they need to start preparing for the ban.
The website includes:
- Detailed information on the ban and who it affects
- Advice on how to manage the ban as a retailer
- Advice on bags to avoid and risk factors
- Signage and factsheets in multiple languages to download and display in your store
- Hundreds of case studies and pictures of real-world Victorian retailers so you can see what similar businesses are doing
We encourage all Victorian businesses to access and use these free resources as soon as possible to help inform their decisions about alternatives, as well as helping them to educate their team and prepare their customers. The NRA is also offering a dedicated Tollfree Bag Ban Hotline (1800 817 723) for retailers who need more information or advice.