The Victorian state government will ban specific single-use plastics – like straws, cutlery, plates and polystyrene containers – across Victoria to reduce the significant amount of plastic waste going to landfill each year.
Minister for Environment Lily D’Ambrosio announced a phase out and ban of specific single-use plastics by 2023, which will include single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks.
“Single-use plastic items – like straws and plastic cups – make up about one third of Victoria’s litter. We need to change this, so we’re getting rid of them,” D’Ambrosio said.
The phase out and ban will not impact on medical or scientific equipment, emergency services or other activities that require these types of plastics for health and safety reasons.
The ban will apply to all cafes, restaurants and organisations in Victoria by 2023. The Victorian government will also phase out certain single-use plastic items from government departments and agencies by February 2022.
Government bodies like Melbourne Museum, the NGV, TAFEs and Zoos Victoria have already started to phase out these products and replace them with sustainable materials.
Many businesses have also already started to transition and have made significant changes to reduce plastic waste.
The government will consult businesses and the community further with public consultation occurring throughout 2021 as part of a formal regulatory impact statement process.
On average, each Victorian sends around 68 kilograms of plastic waste to landfill every year.
This week South Australia became the first state to ban single-use plastics, with drinking straws, stirrers and cutlery to be prohibited from sale, supply or distribution.
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