Victoria moves to ban the bag

The Victorian Government will move to ban single-use plastic bags, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced.

The Premier revealed the move on Channel 10’s The Project on Tuesday evening. It follows a campaign by the program in partnership with Clean Up Australia.

“We are going to get this done as quickly as we can and I think that only leaves one or two other states,” Mr Andrews told the Ten Network on Tuesday.

“I have been convinced by [‘The Project’s] advocacy over such a consistent amount of time to announce… that Victoria will ban single-use plastic bags,” he said.

“We know this is really important for the environment, particularly for our waterways, for landfill, for waste management.

Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio on Wednesday said the government will work closely with Victorian communities and businesses to design the ban.

“Experience in other jurisdictions shows that banning lightweight plastics ban can lead to undesirable results, including increased use of heavier duty plastics, which can have an even greater environmental impact,” she said.

“That is why the Labor Government will work with the community on how to best manage plastic pollution, and deliver a workable scheme that doesn’t unfairly impact on consumers, retailers, industry or the environment.”

The 2015/16 Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index reported that Victoria has the lowest litter count in the country for the fifth year in a row.

NSW is now the only state to have not voiced intentions to ban the bag. South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT have all put bag bans in place as of this year, with Queensland set to join them in 2018. The Western Australian Government recently announced single-use shopping bags will be banned from July 1 next year. The major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths also announced a similar move earlier in the year.