Proudly Plastic Free for businesses


We are reducing plastic use in business throughout City of Yarra with our Proudly Plastic Free program.

Proudly Plastic Free is a whole-of-community plan to reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging. We started by trialling the program with food businesses in North Fitzroy Village and successfully reduced their plastic packaging use by 1,750 items per week! We encourage all Yarra businesses to be Proudly Plastic Free.

Victoria's single-use plastics ban

From 1 February 2023, problematic single-use plastics have been banned from sale or supply in Victoria.

The ban applies to:

  • single-use plastic drinking straws
  • single-use plastic cutlery
  • single-use plastic plates
  • single-use plastic drink stirrers
  • single-use plastic cotton bud sticks
  • all food service items and drink containers made from expanded polystyrene.

The ban inclues all the above items whether they are made from conventional, degradable, or compostable plastics. 

What plastic items are we eliminating?

To be part of the Proudly Plastic Free Business community you need to remove at least three out of these five plastic items:

  • takeaway containers
  • cups
  • coffee cups and lids
  • water bottles
  • single serve condiment sachets/containers (sauces etc)

Get involved

If your business would like to go Proudly Plastic Free, we’ll help you switch from single use to reusable packaging products. We’ve done all the research for you and have loads of helpful resources and information to share to help you every step of the way.

If you and your business are interested in going Proudly Plastic Free with help from us, email us at [email protected] or call 9205 5555.
You can also find out more about what you can do to join Yarra’s Proudly Plastic Free community by downloading our full kit of resources below.

What is the process?

  1. Complete our Proudly Plastic Free survey to assess what you’re doing to reduce single-use plastics. You can also request a hardcopy version from our Waste Education Support Officer.
  2. We will contact you to discuss what other actions you can take to decrease your waste and meet the program requirement of removing at least three out of six of the plastic items mentioned above.
  3. Implement the actions that make most sense for your business.
  4. Celebrate your successes with the local community! Use the hashtag #ProudlyPlasticFree to share what’s working for your business and your customers on social media.

Benefits for your business

  • Free promotion from Yarra City Council – we’ll add your business to our online Zero Waste Map and share the efforts and successes of our best participants on Yarra’s social media.
  • Decrease your packaging costs over time as more customers bring their own containers.
  • Attract new customers who want to support your business’ commitment to making a difference.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and contribution to landfill.
  • Help keep Yarra’s streets, parks and rivers free from litter.

Why is plastic problematic?

Disposable plastic packaging is overwhelming our planet. According to the National Geographic, an incredible 91% of all the plastic ever produced has been used just once then thrown out. A report from the World Economic Forum warns that by 2050, the oceans will have more plastic (by weight) than fish!

Here are some of the best reasons to avoid plastic:

  • Plastic is made of petroleum, a fossil fuel which is a significant driver of climate change.
  • Plastic cannot biodegrade. Over time it breaks down into smaller pieces, which threaten wildlife, damage the natural environment and can be harmful to human health.
  • In 2017-18, the Federal Government's Australian Plastics Recycling Survey found that Australia’s national plastic recycling rate was just 9.4%. This means the remaining 90.6% was either land filled burned or littered.

What is Yarra doing to go plastic free?

We know phasing out single-use plastics can be tricky at first and don’t expect you to do this alone.

In July 2019, we announced our commitment to phasing out single-use plastics at each of our leisure centres, including plastic bottles and straws. Other council run facilities are to follow and we’re working with current suppliers to source plastic free product alternatives to eliminate single-use plastics from our meetings, events and leisure centres and venues.

We have also developed useful resources to help Yarra residents reduce their waste footprint by reducing, reusing and recycling plastic, clothing and food waste. For more information visit

To help consumers find businesses in Yarra that promote waste reduction through their products, services or business practices, we have developed our very own Zero Waste Map. If you commit to removing at least three out of the six of the troublesome plastic items we’ve identified above, we will profile your business on the map for free!


Food health and safety questions

The use of reusable containers is legal and is an easy, affordable and sustainable solution businesses can adopt. Sustainability Victoria have some great tips and resources on accepting reusables at your business. For more information call our Environmental Health Compliance team on 03 9205 5166.