THE Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s weekend announcement that they will ban single-use plastics by 2023.
The Andrews Labor Government has stated the ban will include single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks.
Victoria becomes the fifth Australian state or territory to commit to ban single-use plastics, with a ban on single-use plastic straws, cutlery and drink stirrers commencing today in South Australia, and the ACT, Queensland and Western Australian governments committing to introduce bans in the near future.
Shane Cucow, plastics spokesperson for the AMCS, welcomed the Andrews Government’s action as good news for Australia’s vulnerable ocean wildlife.
“We are pleased to see the Victorian Government responding to the concerns of ocean lovers who have been crying out for action to save our whales and wildlife," Mr Cucow said.
“By joining states like South Australia and banning lethal plastics like straws, cutlery and polystyrene food and beverage containers, Victoria will become a leader in the fight against plastic.
“For years we have seen shocking incidents of wildlife hurt by plastics, such as whales washing up on our beaches with stomachs full of plastic, or mother birds feeding plastics to their chicks.
“With safe, earth friendly alternatives now available, it’s time to ditch these killer plastics and stop the flow of plastic into our oceans once and for all."
Mr Cucow urged the Victorian Government to move quickly, and accelerate their timeline for implementation.
“For years we have known about this crisis. Every day we wait, more animals are killed by the plastic entering our oceans," he said.
“Two more years is a long time to wait for action to stop these preventable deaths. With South Australia’s ban commencing today, and Queensland and the ACT expected to act this year, the time to act is now.
South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics commences today, officially becoming the first Australian state or territory to outlaw plastic straws, drink stirrers and cutlery. On March 1, 2022 polystyrene food and beverage containers and oxo-degradable plastics will also be banned. See government release here.
Queensland’s Parliament is currently considering a bill to ban single-use plastic straws, cutlery, drink-stirrers and disposable plastic plates/bowls. Details here.
The ACT Parliament is currently considering a bill to ban single-use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers, with the government indicating it would commence on July 1, 2021. See government release here.
The WA Government has committed to phase out single-use plastic plates, straws, cutlery, drink stirrers, heavyweight plastic bags, polystyrene food containers and helium balloon releases by 2023. Details here.
The New South Wales Government recently completed public consultations that canvassed the idea of a ban on single-use plastics. They are yet to announce their plans.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory have made no commitments to ban single-use plastics.