Commencing on 1 November 2019, the Victorian Government will implement a state-wide ban on retailers distributing light weight plastic shopping bags.
Lightweight plastic shopping bags are those which have a thickness below 36 microns, including degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags.
The new law will apply to all retailers and suppliers that sell goods including online stores and markets regardless of size or type. From supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries, pharmacies, clothes stores, restaurants, cafes, markets and food outlets.
The ban will not apply to the following bags:
- produce bags used for unpackaged foodstuffs
- garbage bags and bin-liners
- dog waste or nappy bags
- essential product packaging (eg. bread bag)
- heavyweight boutique plastic bags
- paper or cardboard bags.
Building better bag habits
Whitehorse Councillor Tina Liu said that Victorians have been using over 1 billion plastic shopping bags every year.
“Most of these bags end up in landfill and around 10 million end up as litter that pollutes our environment and endangers wildlife,” said Cr Liu.
“In response to the ban on plastic bags, we’re encouraging the community to build better bag habits.”
Lightweight and compact nylon bags are widely available from major supermarkets, homewares stores and online retailers. Many major retailers sell reusable canvas shopping bags, so bring a bag for life, not for a single use.
Everyone forgets sometimes, so make it easy on yourself and, keep some in your car, by the front door or stashed at work so that you always have reusable bags on standby.
With better bag habits, remembering your reusable bags will become second nature. Before you leave home, don’t forget ‘Bag, wallet, keys and phone’.