The $50,000 plastic bag fines coming in from TOMORROW: Huge punishments to be handed out to supermarkets breaking the law
- The state-wide single-use plastic bag ban in Victoria applies to all retailers
- Lightweight plastic bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less will be banned
- Retailers who break the law will be fined $49,500 and $9,900 for individuals
Retailers who hand out single-use plastic bags could be fined $49,500 under strict new laws that come into effect tomorrow.
The state-wide ban in Victoria, effective from Friday, applies to all retailers including supermarkets, clothes stores, restaurants and convenience stores.
The ban applies to lightweight plastic bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less on any part of the bag, including biodegradable ones.
All retailers in Victoria who hand out single-use plastic bags could be slapped with a $49,500 fine from tomorrow
Individual persons – including those operating online stores – will be fined $9,900 for each offence.
Lightweight plastic bags for unpackaged food such as fruit, meat or fish do not apply to the ban.
But retailers cannot use those bags as substitutes for single-use ones.
The same penalties also apply to people who supply or manufacture plastic bags, or those who give out false or misleading information about the composition of a bag.
Every state and territory in Australia except Victoria and New South Wales have already banned lightweight plastic shopping bags.
The Victorian ban was first announced in 2018 to give businesses time to clear out stock.
Retailers have begun warning customers about the state-wide ban, effective from Friday
Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the ban would address the pollution in the state’s rivers and ocean wildlife.
‘Victorians use more than a billion of these bags each and every year,’ she said earlier this year.
‘More than 10 million of these end up as litter in our environment. We know that’s not good enough.’