The Victorian Government is implementing a state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags from 1 November 2019.
This is good news as the majority of these bags currently end up in landfill and around 10 million end up as litter. This causes major pollution to our environment and endangers wildlife. When the ban starts it will be illegal for any retailer in Victoria to provide lightweight plastic shopping bags. It will also be illegal for suppliers to withhold information or to give misleading information about non-compliant bags.
The ban will apply to all lightweight plastic shopping bags thinner than 36 microns, including degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags. The National Retail Association (NRA) has been engaged to help all retailers transition away from lightweight plastic bags, this includes supermarkets, greengrocers, bakeries, pharmacies, clothes stores, restaurants, cafes, markets, food outlets, and many more.
Retailers should stop buying banned bags as soon as possible and remove any existing stock before the ban comes into effect. If you are left with unused stock after the ban starts, you cannot provide these to customers and compensation is not available.
If you would like more information there is a website with resources and the NRA will be doing workshop tours. Please see links below.
Advice for retailers
Resources – Fact sheets, store posters, signs, social media kits etc
You can follow what happens with the bag ban at:
You can also call the hotline on 1800 817 723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Shelli van Santen