Plastic bags | Environment Victoria

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Plastic bags

Next time you visit your local supermarket, think about this – across the country, we use nearly 4 billion lightweight plastic bags every year. And most of them, we use only once.

Many of us have switched to green bags for our weekly shopping, but it’s still a massive problem.

That’s why we support a total, nationwide ban on plastic bags at point of sale
With the exception of times where hygiene or public safety is an issue, we think that plastic bags should be banned across the country. In the absence of a ban, we support a levy on plastic bags at their point of sale.

A ban would have multiple benefits:

  • It is easier to administer than a levy
  • It would not be difficult for shop owners to comply with
  • It would be less politically controversial than a levy, as a levy would need to be increased as its impact decreases over time
  • It would have a positive effect on food and grocery prices, as plastic bags currently cost about 2-3 cents each
  • It would reduce litter
  • There are many proven reusable alternatives that have a lower environmental impact

The state government has made a promise to introduce legislation to ban the use of lightweight plastic bags by large retailers by the end of 2008.

So far, they haven’t kept their promise.

Help them keep it


more resources

Trial plastic bag levy, Sustainability Victoria. What's it about


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