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October 1, 2019
Lightweight, single use plastic bags will be banned in Victoria from November 1 – following an announcement in June from the State Government preparing retailers for the ban1.
Plastic production generally is increasing around the world, but with it comes a global issue of it being discarded incorrectly, with Australia only recycling around 11%2.
It is estimated that at least 8 million tonnes of plastic will enter the world’s oceans each year3.
A crucial step in protecting Victoria’s rivers, water ways, oceans and wildlife, the upcoming plastic bag ban aligns with legislation already in place in South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory who have already banned single use plastic bags.
But, going one step further than most other plastic bag related legislation around Australia, Victoria’s ban also includes a ban on plastic bags deemed biodegradable or compostable.
These bags bring with them a threat of micro plastics, and challenges with a lack of access to industrial composting infrastructure to dispose of them correctly.
The impacts on the environment are unlikely to be improved by allowing these bags, and so the Victorian Government has included lightweight biodegradable, degradable and compostable plastic shopping bags in the ban4.
Paper bags offer an environmentally friendly alternative, made from a renewable resource and able to be recycled and live again as other products.
Learn more about choosing paper ahead of the bag ban.
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