Victorian single use plastic ban enforced from February 1 fines for selling supplying distributing

The everyday items that could see you cop a whopping $11,000 fine as ban on single-use plastic comes into effect in one Australian state

  • Victoria to ban single-use plastics from Feb 1
  • The ban includes cutlery, straws and other items
  • A maximum $54,000 fine could be handed to businesses¬†

Construction could be the next industry facing plastic regulations in Victoria as a ban on single-use items comes into effect in hospitality and retail.

The supply or sale of single-use straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, plates and cotton bud sticks will be illegal from Wednesday.

Businesses caught using those items can be fined $1,849 and individuals face a fine of $370 however the government says only those who repeatedly flout the rules will be penalised.

The supply or sale of single-use straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, plates and cotton bud sticks will be illegal from February 1 (stock image)

The maximum penalty a business could face is $54,000 but that would only be issued in rare circumstances, such as if a business knowingly sold single-use plastics but passed them off as reusable items.

The ban comes into effect after the collapse of the soft plastic recycling program REDcycle, which lead to millions of plastic bags being stored in warehouses instead of recycled.

Environment Minister Ingrid Stitt wouldn’t commit to outlawing single-use packaging such as plastic wraps on fresh fruit and vegetables but said the government was exploring how to reduce the number of soft plastics in the construction industry.

An estimated 2.7million disposable or single-use coffee cups are thrown away every day in Australia, according to Sustainability Victoria, but they are not included in the ban and neither are standard plastic takeaway containers.

Ms Stitt said they would not be banned unless appropriate alternatives became available.

‘We don’t want to have a situation where we create unintended consequences by bringing in bans quicker than we’ve been able to develop solutions,’ she told reporters in Fitzroy on Friday.

Individuals could face a maximum $11,000 fine for the continued distribution, selling or supplying of banned products such as plastic cutlery (stock image) while businesses could be handed a $55,000 fine

Individuals could face a maximum $11,000 fine for the continued distribution, selling or supplying of banned products such as plastic cutlery (stock image) while businesses could be handed a $55,000 fine 

Free to Feed kitchen manager Helen Addison told reporters transitioning to sustainable items hadn’t increased costs for the social enterprise but was an ongoing process for customers and staff.

Several Melbourne cafe owners who wished to remain anonymous told AAP they could no longer source plastic items through suppliers.

They said sustainable items could be more expensive and many paper straws on the market tended to collapse easily.

Shadow Environment Minister James Newbury said he was concerned about how the ban would be implemented in a constructive way.

The changes were announced in 2021 and are part of a broader strategy to reduce landfill by 80 per cent by 2030.

Single-use plastic items make up about one third of Victoria’s litter.

Single-use plastics make up around one-third of all of Victorian litter in streets and waterways (pictured) and is a key part of the state's goal of diverting 80 per cent of trash from landfill

Single-use plastics make up around one-third of all of Victorian litter in streets and waterways (pictured) and is a key part of the state’s goal of diverting 80 per cent of trash from landfill