Australia’s Victoria to ban single-use plastics by 2023

The Australian state of Victoria will ban specific single-use plastics including cutlery and straws by 2023, the state’s minister for environment announced on Saturday.

The phase out and ban will apply to all cafes, restaurants and organizations in Victoria by 2023, while the state government said it would phase out “certain single-use plastic items” from departments and agencies by February 2022.

The ban will also include single-use plastic plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers and plastic cotton bud sticks.

“Single-use plastic items – like straws and plastic cups – make up about one third of Victoria’s litter. We need to change this, so we’re getting rid of them,” Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said in a statement.

“When you’re at the supermarket or at a cafe, we all need to be mindful of the choices we make and reduce the single use plastic we use. All Victorians can play their part.”

According to Victoria’s government, on average each resident of the state sends around 68 kilograms of plastic waste to landfill every year.

“The ban is a crucial step in protecting our rivers, waterways and oceans from plastic pollution which is killing our turtles, whales, seabirds and other precious marine life,” the state government said in a statement.

As of 2020, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) ranked Victoria among the worst states and territories in Australia in the fight against single-use plastic, with Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia leading the way in the federation.

Queensland last year announced a plan to ban plastic cutlery, straws and single-use plastic plates from sale from July 2021, with the state also planning tougher controls on takeaway coffee cups and heavy-weight plastic shopping bags, though the ban is yet to be confirmed.