Remember to BYO reusable bags next time you head to Queen Victoria Market. The historic Melbourne market is banning plastic bags and straws to help avert the plastic-wrapped garbage fire our planet is currently on a trajectory for.
Starting Tuesday, May 14 shoppers will no longer be offered single-use plastic bags when buying from vendors. This includes standard, “biodegradable” and thicker plastic bags with the only exception to the rule being plastic barrier bags (that is, you’ll still get your fresh meat and seafood wrapped in plastic for health and safety reasons).
The removal of plastic bags is part of the 140-year-old market’s commitment to sustainability, and 80 per cent of surveyed Queen Vic shoppers support the ban.
Still not used to shopping sans plastic? The market is offering a stack of alternatives to help customers transition from plastic. While shoppers are encouraged to bring their own reusable bags, baskets and trolleys, you’ll also be able to hire trolleys from Market Espresso, buy reusable bags and straws from the Visitor Information Hub and even take produce home in a recycled box (available from the pick-a-box locations at Shed I and Queen Street). Some vendors will also let you use your own reusable containers – check with individual retailers.
The move follows South Melbourne Market banning plastic bags and straws in 2018. The Victorian state government is also expected to pass a legislative ban on plastic bags, which will likely come into effect in late 2019.