Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), welcomes the next stage of Victoria’s single-use plastics phase out, which takes effect 1 Feb 2023.
From next month, the sale and supply of single-use plastic drinking straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers will be banned. Polystyrene food service items, drink containers and cotton bud sticks will also be prohibited.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said that while national consistency of regulation and timetabling remains the preferred approach for the retail sector, the Victorian Government is making positive steps in addressing plastic pollution.
“Single-use plastics make up a third of the waste we see in our environment, so it’s pleasing to see the Victorian Government reach the next stage in their phase-out strategy,” Mr Zahra said.
“The bans coming into effect next month come with reasonable notice, which has given retailers the chance to run down stock levels. Importantly, these changes also bring us one step closer to national alignment, which remains our key priority.
“Addressing the challenge of plastic pollution remains a critical issue for the retail sector. We need well considered, carefully planned approaches that minimise confusion for consumers, drive strong compliance and deliver positive environmental results, all at the lowest cost to business.”
Mr Zahra reiterated the need for states to align on phase-outs.
“Dealing with eight different jurisdictions, who are all taking a different approach, has been problematic for our national members, making the change complex and costly to manage.
“That’s why we need national consistency and a mutually agreed timeline that everyone can operate within. That’s also why we have developed an online resource at retail.org.au/plastics to help our members understand and navigate these changes.
“Single-use plastics bans have been on the agenda for more than a decade. With national alignment, these bans could have been achieved much faster with collective action, to drive collective impact,” Mr Zahra said.
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About us: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the oldest, largest and most diverse national retail body, representing a $400 billion sector that employs 1.3 million Australians and is the largest private sector employer in the country. As Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 120,000 retail shop fronts and online stores, the ARA informs, advocates, educates, protects and unifies our independent, national and international retail community. To learn more about ARA’s exclusive member benefits and more, visit retail.org.au