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City urges residents to carry reuseable bags

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The City of Greater Bendigo is reminding residents that from November 1, 2019 lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned throughout Victoria under new legislation introduced by the Victorian Government.

From November 1 is will be illegal for a retailer to supply a banned plastic bag and for a person who supplies or manufactures plastic bags to give false or misleading information about banned bags.

City of Greater Bendigo Presentation and Assets Director Debbie Wood said the ban applies to all retailers including supermarkets, green grocers, bakeries, pharmacies, clothing stores, restaurants, cafes, markets, food outlets and many more and includes plastic degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags.

“The City understands that the ban may be challenging for some local businesses and so we have written to all local retailers and have produced a counter sign and poster for them to use at their business to inform customers about the upcoming ban,” Ms Wood said. 

“We are also running a local radio advertising campaign to encourage residents to carry a re-useable bag so they won’t be inconvenienced when the ban is in place.

“This is part of the City’s ongoing commitment to resource recovery and waste reduction.”

Copies of the sign and poster are available by contacting the City’s Resource Recovery and Education Unit on 54346000 or by email to [email protected]

Victorians use over 1 billion plastic shopping bags every year.  The majority of these bags end up in landfill and around 10 million end up as litter polluting our environment and endangering our wildlife. The ban is a crucial step in protecting Victoria’s waterways and wildlife from plastic pollution and is part of a suite of Victorian Government measures designed to reduce the impact of plastic pollution, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and strengthen  Victoria’s recycling industry.

Retailers are not required to provide customers with a bag.

The ban applies to all lightweight plastic shopping bags with a thickness below 36 microns, including degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags.    Retailers cannot supply banned bags to customers, regardless of whether they are new or reused.  For example, community organisations, charity stores and market stallholders should start to phase out these banned bags as it will be illegal to supply them.

The ban does NOT apply to:

  • Produce bags used for unpackaged foodstuffs (like fruit, meat or seafood)
  • Garbage bags & bin-liners
  • Dog waste or nappy bags
  • Essential product packaging (eg. bread bags)
    Retailers cannot use these bags as substitutes for banned bags.
    The ban will be enforced by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and supported by community reporting mechanisms.  More information is available at www.vicbagban.com.au
     

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