Sustainable events and businesses
Sustainable Regional Events
With a bit of planning, any festival, market, party or fete can leave a lighter footprint on the environment.
Not sure where to start? Check out the Sustainable Regional Events website. It provides practical options to reduce waste, save water, sustainable decoration ideas and so much more!
View our Sustainable Regional Events Guide here:(PDF, 2MB)
Use our Sustainable Events Trailer
Event planners may borrow our Sustainable Events Trailer (SET) to manage waste and recycling. The SET holds a set of 4 recycling and 4 garbage bins. After your event, empty out the bins at any of our transfer stations for no charge.
You will be required to provide a $200 deposit which will be returned to you after the event. The trailer is available on a first-in, first-served basis, so book well in advance for popular times throughout the year.
Form to book the Sustainable Events Trailer.(PDF, 633KB)
More information about our transfer stations.
Victorian Government single-use plastics ban
From 1 February 2023, problematic single-use plastics will be banned from sale or supply in Victoria.
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.
People who need single-use plastic drinking straws due to a disability or for a medical need can still purchase and use these items.
The Victorian Government has engaged the National Retail Association to assist businesses and organisations understand and preparing for the upcoming ban. The NRA will visit 3000 businesses across Victoria, develop resources, hold information sessions, and provide a toll-free hotline (1800 844 946 ) and mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Get ready for the ban - free resources available
There are countless ready-made resources available to help buisnesses and individuals prepare for the ban before it starts on 1 February 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are single-use plastics being banned?
- make up a third of the litter we see in our environment – they are difficult and costly to clean up
- are often used for only a few minutes but remain in the environment for a long time
- pollute the environment – harming wildlife and contaminating our food and water.
Many single-use plastic items are difficult and economically unviable to recycle. Often, they end up contaminating our recycling. They can often be easily avoided or replaced with reusable products.
By banning problematic single-use plastics, we will reduce plastic pollution.
What items will be banned from 1 February 2023?
Banned items are single-use plastic:
- drinking straws
- cutlery including knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks, sporks, splades, food picks and sporks
- drink stirrers and sticks
- cotton bud sticks
- expanded polystyrene food service items and drink containers. This includes expanded polystyrene plates, cups, bowls, clam shells and any cover or lid that is also made from expanded polystyrene.
What types of plastics are included in the ban?
All forms of plastic can be bad for the environment when littered.
Single-use plastic drinking straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers and cotton bud sticks made from conventional, degradable and compostable plastics, including bioplastic and oxo-degradable materials are banned from 1 February 2023. The ban also applies to food service items and drink containers made from expanded polystyrene.
Compostable plastic items can harm wildlife the same way conventional plastic items do, if they are littered. Many compostable plastics require processing at a specialised compost facility in order to break down.
What expanded polystyrene items are banned?
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items and drink containers are banned from 1 February 2023. This includes EPS plates, cups, bowls, clam shells and any cover or lid that is also made from expanded polystyrene.
The Regulations do not apply to EPS containers used for food packaging and transport, where the food is not typically consumed from the receptacle. For example, the Regulations do not apply to EPS trays for transporting raw meats, large EPS food storage boxes or EPS gelato tubs.
Who does the ban apply to?
The ban applies to businesses and organisations including not-for-profits, government, sports clubs, schools, and others that are incorporated.
It is the responsibility of all Victorian businesses and organisations to comply with the Regulations and not sell or supply certain single-use plastic items, including to patrons or customers.
What does the ban mean for Victorians?
From 1 February 2023, Victorians will not be able to purchase, or be supplied with single-use plastic straws, plates, cutlery, drink stirrers, cotton bud sticks or expanded polystyrene food service items and drink containers from any business or organisation.
These items cannot be sold or given away for free.
Businesses and organisations should consider offering reusable items or single-use items made from alternative materials.
There are limited exemptions that provide the use of items in specific circumstances. This includes the use of single-use plastic drinking straws for individuals who require them due to a disability or for a medical need.
Are there any exemptions to the ban?
There are 5 exemptions where banned single-use plastic items can continue to be used in Victoria. These are for specific circumstances where items are required for health and safety reasons or where suitable alternatives to a sub-set of banned items are not currently available.
- Single-use plastic drinking straws for people who need them due to a disability or for medical reasons
- Single-use plastic cotton bud sticks for testing carried out for scientific, medical, forensic or law enforcement purposes
- Single-use plastic cutlery, where required, in correctional and mental health facilities to prevent physical harm or injury
- Until 1 November 2024 paper or cardboard plates lined with plastic
- Until 1 January 2026 any single-use plastic item that is integrated into food or drink packaging (e.g., a single-use plastic spoon included in a yogurt tub).
Is it safe to use reusable items?
Health advice supports the use of reusable items with appropriate cleaning.
There are no requirements in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, or the Victorian Food Act 1984, that prevents any food businesses from letting customers use their own containers.
Refer to Sustainability Victoria for more information and resources to help your business and customers make the switch to reusables.