All over the world, towns and countries have banned single use plastic bags or have significantly reduced their use by placing a levy on plastic bags. Countries including Ireland, Bangladesh, South Africa and China have either banned plastic shopping bags or implemented a levy to reduce consumption. California has just come on board as the first US State to introduce a state-wide ban.

In Australia alone, South Australia, The ACT, The Northern Territory and Tasmania have placed a ban on single use plastic bags. While there is movement in NSW to ban plastic bags, Victoria has been slower to react – a ban on plastic bags has fallen off the agenda since it was pledged in 2008 that the state would take action.

Both Plastic Bag Free Victoria and Plastic Bag Free NSW have initiated a campaign to pressure their State Governments to take action by passing legislation to ban plastic bags.

Across Victoria there have been some towns and markets who operate plastic bag free. Torquay, Warburton, Frankston, Victoria Market, Veg Out Market St Kilda and all Melbourne Farmers’ Markets are plastic bag free.

A bit closer to home, a large number of towns in the Loddon Mallee region have been plastic bag free for a few years now, saving over 5 million bags from being sent to landfill or becoming litter. Some of these towns include Leitchville, Pyramid Hill, Boort and Cohuna.