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Victoria legislates single use plastics ban with exemptions for disability

a stack of multi coloured straws


What you need to know

  • A ban on single-use plastic straws, cutlery and other items will come into effect on 1 February 2023 in Victoria.
  • People who need single-use plastic drinking straws due to a disability or medical need will still be able to purchase and use these items.

The Victorian Government has developed regulations to ban single-use plastics from sale or supply in Victoria from 1 February 2023 in an effort to reduce plastic pollution. 

The ban applies to single-use plastic drinking straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers and cotton bud sticks made from conventional, degradable, and compostable plastics. The ban also applies to food service items and drink containers made from expanded polystyrene. 

The regulations include a number of exemptions, including: 

  • single-use plastic drinking straws for people who need them due to a disability or medical reason 
  • single-use cotton bud sticks for testing carried out for medical, scientific or other authorised purposes
  • single-use plastic cutlery where required in correctional or mental health facilities to prevent physical harm or injury 

People with disabilities and the people who support them (including support workers, service providers, family members or friends) will be able to purchase straws from retailers but will need to request these as they will not be accessible to the public without the assistance of a staff member.  

There is no requirement for individuals to provide verification of disability or medical need when requesting straws. 

Organisations can prepare for the ban now by: 

  • determining if you still need to provide single-use items, and where use can be avoided or reduced 
  • ordering stock of any alternative items you will need ahead of the ban starting, to avoid supply issues 
  • considering where you will source banned items for use by persons with exemptions 

NDS has been consulted on this initiative previously and is interested in any feedback from members. Please contact Clare Hambly with any concerns: submit enquiry/feedback

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Clare Hambly, Senior Policy and Projects Officer, submit enquiry/feedback, 0448 076 987