Plastic pollution is becoming an urgent environmental problem. Globally, thousands of tonnes of plastic enter our waterways and oceans each year. Plastics in the environment break up into smaller and smaller pieces over time. This means that the impacts of plastic pollution are long term, and can become increasingly difficult to manage.
Late last year the Victorian Government committed to banning single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags. We asked Victorians for their views on how we could design a ban to be effective and lasting. We also asked for feedback on what else we could to reduce the impacts of other types of single-use plastics. You can view the discussion paper, Reducing the impacts of plastics on the Victorian Environment, below.
Summary of feedback
Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Victorian Government's plastic pollution consultation.
From the consultation, we received an overwhelming response of more than 8,000 submissions. This shows how strongly Victorians feel about protecting their environment and working towards a more sustainable future.
Our consultation report summarises the feedback received on plastic bags and other forms of plastic pollution. It also outlines the details of the plastic bag ban and our next steps on plastic pollution in Victoria. The report can be viewed below.
More information on plastic pollution and the Victorian Government's work to reduce its impacts can be found at www.environment.vic.gov.au/sustainability/plastic-...
Step 1: In 2018, we will begin educating retailers and the community about plastic pollution and how to use fewer plastic bags. This will ensure the ban, once introduced, will be as effective as possible.
Step 2: Over the next 12 months, the Victorian Government will develop a plan to prioritise the most effective actions to reduce other types of plastic pollution in our environment. A reference group of government, industry, retail and community group representatives will be established to help develop a plastic pollution plan and advise the government on how we will tackle other types of plastic pollution.
Step 3: A legislative ban on single-use, lightweight plastic bags will begin by the end of 2019.Ongoing: Victoria will keep working with other states and territories on a national, voluntary phase-out of thick plastic bags. We will hold the Commonwealth to its commitment to phase out microbeads, and seek strong national action on other types of microplastics. We will also promote national conversation about how we can reduce our reliance on single-use plastic items, such as plastic straws