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Victoria to ban plastic bags next year

plastic bagsThe Andrews Labor Government will ban single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags from 2019 in Victoria in an effort to combat plastic pollution.

The ban will come into effect from late next year and will include plastic bags commonly used at supermarket checkouts, as well as those made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic.

“Banning single-use plastic bags will slash waste, reduce litter and help protect marine life in Victoria’s pristine waters,” said Lily D’Ambrosio, minister for energy, environment and climate change.

“We know Victorians want to do more to reduce pollution in our environment.”

The announcement follows an “overwhelming response” of more than 8000 submissions during a community consultation on plastic pollution, finding more than 96 per cent in support of a ban.

“The Government will continue to work closely with Victorian communities and businesses to design the ban – to ensure it works for all Victorians and our environment,” said D’Ambrosio.

A plastic pollution plan will be developed over the next 12 months to reduce other types of plastic contaminants, with representatives from government, industry, retailers and community environment groups taking part.

The government will also support an education campaign for retailers and the community.

The announcement comes as recycling plastic becomes a hot topic in Australia, with major grocery retailers committing to reducing their plastic footprint.

Woolworths ceased providing single-use plastic bags to customers on the 20th of June, with Coles to follow on the 1st July.

“From the beginning, we felt really strongly that this was the right thing to do and we’re really pleased to see customers are behind the change as well,” said Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci.

“We are proud to say that from now on, single-use plastic bags are gone from our stores, for good.”

Research from Canstar Blue found while 71 per cent of those surveyed backed the ban, 21 per cent disagree, leaving 8 percent undecided.

UPDATED: 12.30 pm


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