Australian state Victoria is set to ban lightweight and single-use plastic shopping bags, as part of its efforts to reduce plastic pollution.
The new legislation has been introduced at the parliament to ban single-use plastic shopping bags across the state from 1 November this year.
The law will be applied to ban all single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less, including bags made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic.
Under the ban, the retail outlets such as supermarkets, fashion boutiques, fast food outlets, convenience stores and service stations must avoid the use of single-use plastic shopping bags.
Victoria Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the ban was a significant step in protecting Victoria’s rivers, waterways, oceans and wildlife from plastic pollution.
D’Ambrosio added: “Plastic pollution is a significant environmental problem – the actions we take now will help ensure Victoria has a clean and bright future.
“The feedback on this one was clear. Victorians want to do more to protect the environment from the damage litter causes and are overwhelmingly supportive of banning single-use plastic shopping bags.
“We’ve been working closely with businesses to plan for the ban ahead of November and we’ll continue to look at ways we can reduce other types of plastic pollution across Victoria.”
The legislative changes follow a community consultation, under which majority of them supported the ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags.
The state government is also working with the National Retailers Association to make businesses prepared for the ban and use sustainable packaging alternatives.
The government is also working with industry, retailers and community environment groups to frame a plastic pollution action plan to reduce other types of plastic pollution.
The plastic bag ban is part of a suite of government measures designed for the reduction of impact of plastic pollution, decrease the amount of waste going to landfill and strengthen the state’s recycling industry.
The e-waste will also be banned from landfill from 1 July this year. Any product with a plug, cord or battery must be deposited at designated e-waste drop-off points instead of dropping in kerbside bins.