Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned across Victoria from November.
The state government introduced a bill in parliament on Wednesday to ban the bags from retail outlets including supermarkets, fashion boutiques, fast-food outlets, convenience stores and service stations.
“Victorians use more than a billion of these bags each and every year; more than 10 million of these end up as litter in our environment,” Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told reporters.
“We know that that’s not good enough.”
Ms D’Ambrosio said a number of retailers had in fact already implemented alternatives for consumers.
The ban follows community consultation and was flagged by the government in June last year.
Bags used for fruit, vegetables and meat as well as thicker garbage bags will be exempt and customers will still be able to buy heavier plastic bags.
An education campaign will run to help Victorians understand the laws and alternatives.
The bill must have crossbench support in the upper house to pass.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien says he wants to see a cost-benefit analysis of the laws.
“It’s fine to say get rid of plastic but what are you going to replace it with? he said.
“People need to have alternatives.”