BENDIGO eateries are already well on the way towards eliminating most single-use plastic business owners say, after the Victorian government announced an upcoming ban on certain items.
Single-use plastic straws, cutlery, drink stirrers and plates will be banned from 2023, along with polystyrene food and drink containers and plastic cotton bud sticks.
It's a move designed to reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfill each year.
Cafe Hoo-Gah owner Gina Triolo said it would be good to see the ban go further, to encompass items such as clear plastic takeaway containers.
These containers are no longer recyclable in Greater Bendigo.
Ms Triolo said her own business unavoidably still used takeaway drink containers that were single-use plastic, but tried to make sure the items were the most environmentally friendly option possible.
Mostly Ms Triolo said the business used recyclable cardboard containers.
She said most Bendigo cafes weren't using plastic straws, cutlery or polystyrene anymore, because of the waste involved.
"[In] Bendigo we're quite with it in regards to that in general. I feel like the general hospitality population is not going to be affected too much," Ms Triolo said.
Spring Gully General Store and Corner Store Cafe owner Adam Nicoletti said the ban would inevitably lead to businesses thinking about how they can take changes further.
Mr Nicoletti said his businesses focused on environmentally friendly options, using paper straws, recycled paper menus, and compostable takeaway cups.
He said the new legislation would hopefully bring the cost of more sustainable options down, as more of those options were manufactured.
Bendigo Sustainability Group president Colin Lambie said the ban was great news, but he would also like to see coffee cups and takeaway containers included.
Mr Lambie said steps every step to reduce single-use plastic waste, such as the plastic bag ban, contributed to solving Victoria's litter and landfill problem.
He said plastics caused problems for wildlife when they made their way into creeks and oceans.
Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said single-use items like straws and cups made up about a third of Victoria's litter.
The ban will not apply to medical or scientific equipment, emergency services, or other activities that require single-use plastics for health and safety reasons.
In a statement, the Victorian government said it would work with the aged and disability care sectors to make sure they had appropriate exemptions for people needing straws or other single-use plastics.
South Australia passed legislation to ban some single-use plastic items in 2020, with the new laws due to come into effect in 2020. Queensland has made a similar move, as has Western Australia.
More details about the ban available at: vic.gov.au/single-use-plastics
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