Say goodbye to single-use plastic bags

Monday 07 October 2019

Local retailers in Yarra are urged to get prepared for the state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags before it takes effect from 1 November 2019. 

Formally announced by the Victorian government in June 2018, this new law will help reduce the impacts of plastics on our environment by promoting the shift from single-use plastic bags to durable, quality bags that can be reused.

The Victorian Bag Ban will apply to all businesses that sell goods, including; supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries, pharmacies, clothes stores, restaurants, cafes, markets, food outlets, and many more.

This means that from November 2019, retailers will not be allowed to supply lightweight plastic shopping bags in Victoria. The Environmental Protection Authority will be managing compliance with the ban and penalties will apply to retailers who sell or provide a banned plastic bag or who give false or misleading information about non-compliant bags.

 

What will change?

 What bags will be banned?

  • Lightweight plastic shopping bags
  • Degradable plastic bags
  • Biodegradable compostable lightweight plastic
plastic bag 

What bags will not be banned?

  • Barriers bags for fruit vegetables, meat and fish.
  • Garbage bags and bin liners.
  • Animal waste bags.  
 Garbage bag

Reusable alternatives

  • Thick plastic bags designed for re-use
  • 'Green' bags (woven polypropylene)
  • Hessian bags   
 reusable bag

For local businesses/retailers

What can retailers/businesses retailers do to prepare for the ban?

  • Stop buying banned bags as soon as possible and start depleting your stock of lightweight plastic shopping bags.
  • If you are ready, you can stop providing lightweight plastic shopping bags straight away. You don’t need to wait for the ban.
  • You are not legally required to offer an alternative bag and it is up to you whether a small fee is charged for alternative bags.
  • Encourage your customers to use and remember their reusable bags and only offer a reusable bag when they specifically request it. .

Resources

To prepare for the Vic Bag Ban the National Retail Association have created a dedicated website of resources to assist retailers during the transition, including:

  • official signage to display in-store
  • fact sheets in multiple language
  • training kits for in-store teams, and
  • real-life case studies and pictures of what other retailers are doing.
Visit the visit the VicBagBan website to access these resources. 

Need assistance?

The National Retailers Association runs a dedicated hotline for retailers to ask questions about the ban and receive personalised advice on how to manage their transition. 
The Bag Ban Hotline is available on 1800 817 723 from Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm AEST. Alternatively, you can email vicbagban@nra.net.au
 

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