Melbourne: The Andrews Government has delivered on its commitment to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in Victoria, reducing plastic pollution and helping protect the environment.
From today, single-use plastic shopping bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less are banned from all retail outlets, including supermarkets, fashion stores, fast food outlets, pharmacies, service stations and many more.
Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio today visited Queen Victoria Market, which has been plastic bag free since May 2019.
The single-use plastic bag ban has been introduced following extensive community consultation on tackling plastic pollution, which showed significant support, with 96 per cent in favour of the ban.
Approximately 150 million plastic bags end up in our oceans and waterways each year, contributing to an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic dumped into the ocean.
To support the community in moving to reusable bags, Sustainability Victoria is running a Better Bag Habits campaign – helping Victorian households to remember their phone, wallet, keys and bag before leaving home.
The Government engaged the National Retail Association to conduct over 180 tours of shopping centres and precincts throughout Victoria to assist retailers transitioning away from banned bags.
The Environmental Protection Authority is also is working with retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers to support them in understanding their obligations, as well as monitoring industry performance.
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.
It is also a crucial step in protecting Victoria’s rivers, waterways, oceans and wildlife from plastic pollution.
For more information, visit betterbaghabits.vic.gov.au.