Businesses adjust to plastic bag ban

Dilip Aleti from Pizza Pasta Kilmore welcomes the state-wide plastic bag ban.

By Evelyn Leckie

DAY one of the plastic bag ban kicked off on Friday, with business owners saying they supported the initiative.

The state-wide ban means single-use plastic shopping bags with a thickness of 35 microns or less are banned from all retail outlets, including supermarkets, fashion stores, fast food outlets, pharmacies, service stations and many more.

Dilip Aleti, from Pizza Pasta Kilmore, said he hoped good habits of bringing reusable bags into his store would kick in quickly.

“I bought the thicker bags, but I’m not giving them to customers yet – what I’m trying to do is get them to bring their own bags – it’ll get customers into a good habit of bring their own bags,” he said.

The restaurant owner said he thought the state should have banned plastic bags completely.

“I think they should totally ban plastic bags all together and not give people the option of thicker 38 microns bags,” he said.

“We have cloth bags or paper bags to use – in Asia, wherever you’re shopping you carry your own bag.

“If you go to the market, the first thought you think is – where are my bags? Then you go to the market.”

Kemp’s Bakery owner Shane Kemp said his store was proactive about the change, selling more than 4500 reusable bags in the lead up to November 1.

“We got ahead and sold cloth reusable bags – they were flying out the door,” Mr Kemp said.

“The ban is a great idea but it needed to be promoted a bit more to inform customers.”

About 150 million plastic bags end up in Australian oceans and waterways each year, contributing to an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic dumped into the ocean.

Businesses could be fined up to $50,000 if they’re found to be selling banned bags.