The Victorian Government has 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.
Victoria becomes the fifth Australian state or territory to commit to ban single-use plastics, with a ban on single-use plastic straws, cutlery and drink stirrers commencing this week in SA, and the ACT, QLD and WA governments committing to introduce bans in the near future.
According to Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio, the ban will not impact medical or scientific equipment, emergency services or other activities that require these types of plastics for health and safety reasons.
The state government will work with the aged care and disability sectors to ensure appropriate exemptions for people who require straws or other single-use plastics.
The ban will apply to all cafes, restaurants and organisations in Victoria by 2023.
D’Ambrosio added that the state government will consult businesses and the community further, with public consultation occurring throughout 2021 as part of a formal regulatory impact statement process.
“The state government will lead by example by phasing out certain single-use plastic items from government departments and agencies by February 2022,” she said.
On average, each Victorian sends around 68 kilograms of plastic waste to landfill every year.