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Victoria expands plastics ban to plates, straws and cutlery

Straws are among the plastic items now banned in Victoria, but plastic lids remain allowed.

Straws are among the plastic items now banned in Victoria, but plastic lids remain allowed.

Plastic straws, plates, cutlery and drink stirrers are now banned in Victoria as part of a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.

Coffee cups, lids and standard plastic takeaway containers are not included in the single-use plastic ban due to concerns there are not enough viable alternatives.

Individuals who sell, distribute or supply banned items can be fined $370 and businesses face a penalty of $1849.

If the dispute heads to court, individuals could be forced to pay more than $11,000 and businesses more than $55,000.

However, the state government said only those who repeatedly flouted the rules would be penalised.

The ban comes months after the collapse of recycling program REDcycle, which had been storing soft plastics in warehouses instead of recycling them.

The government is exploring whether it should ban soft plastic packaging on items such as fresh vegetables and if there should be restrictions on plastics used in the construction industry.

About one-third of Victoria’s litter is made up of single-use plastics.

Lightweight plastic bags were banned in Victoria in 2019 and the Environmental Protection Authority said it led to a 77 per cent reduction in plastic bag litter.

-AAP

Topics: victoria
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