By February 2023, Victoria will have phased out and banned a number of single-use plastics from use across the state. The single-use plastics that are part of the ban include plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, cotton bud tips and polystyrene food and drink containers. (Featured image: Brian Yurasits)
According to data compiled by the state government, each Victorian throws away 68kgs of plastic to landfill per year, with about one-third of Victoria’s litter being single-use plastics only. Obviously, these take a damn-long time to breakdown but they can also contaminate other recycling initiatives as well as making the process economically unviable.
Cafes, restaurants and hospitality venues will be prohibited from using these items while venues and places like the NGV, the Melbourne Museum and Zoo have already begun replacing single-use plastics with reusable or sustainable alternatives. However, businesses will still be able to supply plastic bowls and other take-away food containers as they are exempt from the ban. Furthermore, scientific and medical equipment as well as ”emergency management services, or people who require specific single-use plastic products due to disability or for health and safety” will also be exempt.
Speaking to the media, Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said that some type of assistance will be made available for the hospitality sector but would not be drawn into giving further details like if financial support would be provided to ease the transition. The Victorian government will spend the next two years coming up with alternative products that businesses can use.
Across state lines, South Australia has already implemented its ban which came into effect yesterday. South Australia’s Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said, ”By being a first mover nationally we’ve already seen businesses who manufacture re-useable and compostable alternatives start to set up in South Australia, which means our single-use plastic ban will have significant economic benefits and create local jobs, as well as being good for the environment.”
The Victorian government is urging Victorians to get used to using reuseable items now in preparation for the ban.
For more information and what to expect, see here.