Plastic pollution is an urgent environmental problem. Globally, thousands of tonnes of plastic enter our waterways and oceans each year.

The Victorian Bag Ban

We are introducing a ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags that will come into effect on 1 November 2019.

The ban will apply to all suppliers of bags and retailers including supermarkets, green grocers, bakeries, pharmacies, clothing stores, restaurants, cafes, markets, takeaway food outlets, and many more. To minimise confusion and impact, the bag ban will apply to lightweight shopping bags made of all types of plastic (including degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastics).

Through 2019, we will be working with the National Retail Association to support retailers in adapting to the changes. This will help minimise impacts to Victorian businesses and support everyone with the transition. Retailers, suppliers and Victorian businesses can visit the VicBagBan website for more information.

Bags that will be banned include typical lightweight plastic shopping bags, including biodegradable, degradable and compostable lightweight plastic

Bags that will not be banned include barrier bags for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, garbage bags and bin liners and animal waste bags

Alternatives to plastic bags include thick plastic bags designed for reuse, 'green' (woven polypropylene) and hessian bags

Consultation

The Victorian Government commenced public consultation on the design of a lightweight plastic shopping bag ban reducing the impacts of plastic pollution in October 2017. The discussion paper on these issues, Reducing the impacts of plastics on the Victorian environment, can be accessed below.

Reducing the impacts of plastics on the Victorian environment - Discussion Paper - PDF

Reducing the impacts of plastics on the Victorian environment - Discussion Paper - Word Document

We talked to a range of stakeholders, including retailers and environmental groups, to get their views on how we can best reduce plastic pollution.

The consultation closed in January 2018. We received more than 8,000 submissions. A full summary of the feedback from the consultation, an outline of the ban and our next steps on plastic pollution can be found in the consultation report:

Reducing the impacts of plastic on the Victorian Environment - Consultation Report - PDF. (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Reducing the impacts of plastic on the Victorian Environment - Consultation Report - Word Document. (DOCX, 1.7 MB)

Other plastic pollution

Plastic bags are only part of the problem. Throughout the consultation process, a range of other plastic pollution issues were raised, including cigarette butts, food and beverage containers and other single-use plastic items.

Over the next 12 months, we will develop a plastic pollution action plan to prioritise the most effective actions to reduce other types of plastic pollution. We will also establish a reference group made up of government, industry, community and environmental representatives to help inform this plan, while continuing to draw on the feedback received during the consultation.

Further information

For more information, please contact the Waste and Resource Recovery team via email wastepolicy@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 03/07/19