What the single-use plastics ban means for your business

Last updated: 1 February 2023

What's included in the ban?

The Victorian Government has banned the sale and supply of single-use plastic:

  • drinking straws
  • cutlery (including knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, sporks, splades, food picks)
  • plates
  • drink-stirrers and sticks
  • expanded polystyrene food service items and drink containers. This includes expanded polystyrene plates, cups, bowls, clam shells and any cover or lid that is also made from expanded polystyrene.
  • cotton bud sticks.

The ban includes plastic items made from conventional, degradable and compostable materials, including bioplastics.

Alternative packaging items

When you must use a single-use item consider using items made from materials such as bamboo, wood, or paper (Forest Stewardship Council certified where applicable).

Avoiding single-use plastics is the cheapest and simplest option a business can take but for businesses where avoidance is not possible, reuse alternatives are a good option.

What's the reason for the ban?

Reducing plastic pollution is a key pillar of Victoria’s Circular Economy Plan, Recycling Victoria: A new economy. Under this plan, problematic single-use plastics will be banned across Victoria by February 2023.

Many single-use plastic items are difficult and economically nonviable to recycle. Often, they end up contaminating our recycling. They can often be easily avoided or replaced with reusable products.

By banning problematic single-use plastics, we will reduce plastic pollution.

Single-use plastics:

  • make up a third of the litter we see in our environment
  • are difficult and costly to clean up
  • are often used for only a few minutes but remain in the environment for a long time
  • pollute the environment – harming wildlife and contaminating our food and water.

What are the exemptions?

There are 5 exemptions where banned single-use plastic items can continue to be used in Victoria. These are for specific circumstances where items are required for health and safety reasons or where suitable alternatives to a sub-set of banned items are not currently available.

  1. Single-use plastic drinking straws for people who need them due to a disability or for medical reasons.
  2. Single-use plastic cotton bud sticks for testing carried out for scientific, medical, forensic or law enforcement purposes.
  3. Single-use plastic cutlery where required in correctional and mental health facilities to prevent physical harm or injury.
  4. Until 1 November 2024 paper or cardboard plates lined with plastic.
  5. Until 1 January 2026 any single-use plastic item that is integrated into food or drink packaging (e.g., a single-use plastic spoon included in a yogurt tub).

For more information visit single-use plastics ban.

Contact us

For any questions on the SUP ban, you can contact the hotline on 1800 844 946 or email: sustainability@nra.net.au

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