News

Embrace bag ban

By Ashlea Witoslawski

The state government launched a new campaign last week encouraging Victorians to invest in reusable shopping bags ahead of a 2019 ban on lightweight, single-use plastic bags.

The Better Bag Habits campaign was launched by Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, encouraging Victorians to remember their ‘‘bag, wallet, keys and phone’’ when leaving the house.

‘‘Victorians are already saying no to plastic bags, but this campaign will encourage everyone to make it a habit,’’ Ms D’Ambrosio said.

Sustainability Victoria research found about 75 per cent of Victorians already carried reusable bags when food shopping.

Young Victorians and those on higher incomes have been slowest to say no to single-use bags, particularly when shopping for non-food items.

The research also found one in four males currently relied on single-use plastic bags when food shopping compared to just one in seven females.

The Labor Government’s ban on single-use plastic bags will come into effect late next year and will apply to shopping bags less than 35microns thick.

Community consultation on the change attracted more than 8000 submissions, with an overwhelming 96 per cent in favour of the ban.

‘‘We’re stopping plastic pollution and ensuring Victorians are ready to live without single-use, lightweight plastic bags,’’ Ms D’Ambrosio said.

The Labor Government is also working with other Australian states and territories towards a national phase-out of thick plastic bags to further reduce plastic pollution in the environment.

●Learn more about the Better Bag Habits campaign at sustainability.vic.gov.au