The Victorian state government has announced that plastic bags will be banned from November 1, 2019. The ban specifically refers to lightweight, single-use plastic bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less, including those that are made from degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic.
Minister for the environment Lily D’Ambrosio says the ban is a necessary step to protect the state’s environment and wildlife.
“Plastic pollution is a significant environmental problem – the actions we take now will help ensure Victoria has a clean and bright future”.
The total ban on the thin single-use bags comes as many retailers in Victoria (and Australia) have started voluntarily phasing out plastic. In May the Queen Victoria Market went plastic bag and straw free, while major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths scrapped single-use plastic bags in mid-2018 (though both still stock thick plastic bags for 15c each).
In addition to the plastic bag ban, Victoria is also banning e-waste from going to landfill from July 1, 2019. That means it will be illegal to dispose of electronics like laptops, phones and appliances (anything with a cord, plug or battery) in your kerbside rubbish bins. Instead, e-waste can be deposited at designated e-waste drop-off points.
Last year the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its 2018 report, which warned that there are only 12 years to keep global heating to a maximum of 1.5 degrees and reduce the risks of global droughts, floods and extreme heat events.