Support for Victorian retailers in single-use plastic phase out

The National Retail Association (NRA) will be offering free in-person advice to regional business owners in Victoria about the upcoming single-use plastics ban.

The NRA plans to visit over 3000 retailers between October and December to help businesses prepare for the Victorian Government’s single-use plastics ban which comes into effect from 1 February 2023.

The ban applies to single-use plastic drinking straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, and cotton bud sticks made from conventional, degradable, and compostable materials. The ban also applies to food service items and drink containers made from expanded polystyrene.

David Stout, Director of Policy at the NRA, said the ban will be quite similar to the bans in NSW, QLD, and the ACT.

“Retailers and their suppliers have been highly supportive of environmental initiatives. We find small and medium businesses appreciate the personalised support and resources, given that they are busy running their business, serving customers, and supporting their staff.”

The NRA has been engaged by the Victorian Government to provide advice and resources to businesses, including a dedicated team to visit retailers and hospitality businesses, hosting a toll-free hotline, and holding information sessions every Friday at 11 a.m. AEDT from 14 October.

Stout said they are looking forward to visiting as many retailers in Victoria’s regional communities as possible to provide factsheets and signage, and to help them understand what they need to do to comply with the ban.

“Our services assist retailers with understanding exactly what is – and isn’t – banned, communicating with customers through the transition, and managing the costs of the transition.

“Businesses can prepare for the ban now by avoiding single-use plastic items and choose reusable alternatives instead. Where this isn’t possible, choose alternatives made from materials such as paper, wood, or bamboo. Businesses supplying reusable plastic items will need to provide a 1-year warranty or similar.”

Stout said that now is the time for businesses to prepare for the February ban by running down existing stock, ordering alternatives, and displaying signage to inform customers.

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