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How will Victoria’s pending plastic ban affect the hospo industry?

In a bid to lower the quantity of waste going into landfill, Victoria will ban some single-use plastics by 2023.

However, those in the hospitality industry warn that this type of ban will affect pricing for consumers, increasing takeaway costs in order to accommodate the change.

The state government announced today that certain items such as plastic straws, cutlery and polystyrene food containers will be phased out, with Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio saying these items were selected as there are currently alternatives available.

"This is about taking a gradual step towards addressing plastics in our environment," she said.

"We believe that these are the easiest items that have substitutes available right now."

The ban will start by state government departments and agencies stopping use of these  plastics by February 2022.

By 2023, the ban will apply to all restaurants and cafes in Victoria.

According to Wes Lambert, the chief executive of industry group Restaurant and Catering Australia, the two year deadline could be unachievable and cause difficulty for businesses if international borders do not be open.

"Businesses have been facing lots of uphill challenges during COVID, so to add on another bureaucratic red tape requirement for them will certainly be difficult," he said.

"With the international borders shut, it will certainly be much more difficult to find suppliers of recyclable cutlery, lids and straws and they'll need time to do so."

 Lambert said it’s possible that take away meals may increase by $1 in order to cover any additional costs.


2 March 2021