Victoria paving the way for ban on single-use plastics

By Our Reporter
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Photo by Brian Yurasits

The Andrews Labor Government will ban specific single-use plastics—like straws, cutlery, plates and polystyrene containers—across Victoria to reduce the significant amount of plastic waste going to landfill each year.

Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio on Saturday 27 February announced a phase out and ban of specific single-use plastics by 2023, which will include single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks, an official press release said.

In many cases, these single-use plastics can be substituted with readily available, cost-effective alternatives.

The phase out and ban will not impact on medical or scientific equipment, emergency services or other activities that require these types of plastics for health and safety reasons. The government will work with the aged care and disability sectors to ensure appropriate emptions for people who require straws or other single-use plastics.

The ban will apply to all cafes, restaurants and organisations in Victoria by 2023. The Government will lead by example by phasing out certain single-use plastic items from government departments and agencies by February 2022.

Government bodies like Melbourne Museum, the NGV, TAFEs and Zoos Victoria have already started to phase out these products and replace them with sustainable materials.

Many businesses have also already started to transition and have made significant changes to reduce plastic waste. The Government will consult businesses and the community further with public consultation occurring throughout 2021 as part of a formal regulatory impact statement process.

On average, each Victorian sends around 68 kilograms of plastic waste to landfill every year. Victorians can all play a part by avoiding single-use plastics where possible in their daily lives and choosing the sustainable and reusable alternatives available.

The ban is a crucial step in protecting our rivers, waterways and oceans from plastic pollution which is killing our turtles, whales, seabirds and other precious marine life.

The ban is part of the Labor Government’s 10-year plan to build our state’s circular economy and transform Victoria’s waste and recycling system, supported by an unprecedented $515 million investment and creating thousands of jobs in recycling and manufacturing. For more information on the ban, visit vic.gov.au/plastics.


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