Plastic pollution is an urgent environmental problem, with plastic bags known to cause significant harm to our oceans and waterways in particular.
In the past, Australians have used up to 10 million plastic bags every day - equating to 4 billion every year. Of these, approximately 150 million end up in our oceans and waterways.
Plastic bag ban
All Victorian retailers are banned from selling or supplying lightweight plastic shopping bags, including degradable, biodegradable and bioplastic (made from plant materials) shopping bags.
The ban is designed to reduce the impact of plastic pollution and the amount of waste going to landfill while strengthening Victoria’s recycling industry.
Plastic bag alternatives
Use reusable bags whenever possible. Look for well-made canvas, string or fabric bags to make sure they will last and reduce plastic waste and pollution.
Make a reusable bag an everyday essential - just like your wallet, keys and phone - and support local retailers with the ban transition.
Recycling plastic bags & other soft plastics
Soft, flexible plastics like bags and wrappers can't go in your recycling bin with the yellow lid – but the good news is that you can recycle them at a REDcycle collection point near you.
Examples of soft plastics include:
- plastic bags
- cling wrap
- bread bags
- pasta packaging
- frozen food bags
- cereal box liners
- biscuit packs (not including the trays)
- lolly packets
- bubble wrap.
If you’re unsure whether an item is a soft plastic, try to scrunch the plastic into a ball in your hand. If you can do this, it’s a soft plastic and can't be put into your recycling bin.
Recycling that contains soft plastics doesn't get sorted or recycled – in fact, plastic bags are the number one cause of recycling bin contamination in Boroondara.
Instead of putting soft plastics in your rubbish bin, recycle them at a REDcycle collection point. These are conveniently located at Coles or Woolworths supermarkets.
Take a look at our A to Z recycling and waste guide to find out how to recycle the right way.
For more information, visit:
- our A to Z recycling and waste guide to learn about the best way to deal with unwanted items
- The Victorian Government on the single-use plastics ban by 2023
- Sustainability Victoria to learn about their Better Bag Habits campaign
- Vic Bag Ban for a closer look at the new plastic bag legislation
- EPA Victoria for more information on the bag ban and other state-wide environmental initiatives.