Queen Vic Market is proudly plastic bag and straw free.
We’re committed to sustainability and continually improving our environmental impact, and going plastic bag and straw free is a major step in reducing the amount of plastic at the Market.
This change comes ahead of the Victorian Government’s planned legislative ban in 2019 and has overwhelming support from our traders and Market customers – with 80% of customers surveyed in favour of banning single-use plastic bags.
There’s so many ways you can shop without plastic – here’s how you can help:
- BYO bag, basket or shopping trolley.
- Hire a trolley from Market Espresso on Queen Street or purchase a trolley from the hardware shop at the centre way of F Shed.
- Buy a reusable Market bag or straw from our Visitor Information Hub or our traders.
- Take your Market haul home in a cardboard box, visit our Pick-a-Box locations on Queen Street and I Shed.
Thank you for supporting our quest to reduce plastic at Queen Vic Market.
Please click on this thumbnail to read more on sustainability.
Waste Diverted from Landfill
The Market and our cleaning and waste service providers (Ikon Services Australia) have been working together to reduce our environmental impact through our recycling program. Since December 2019, we have seen significant improvements to the recycling rate Market-wide, with up to 75% percent of all waste now being diverted from landfill. Thank you to our wonderful cleaning staff and our traders, together we’re working towards a more sustainable market.
Queen Vic Market sustainability ambassador, Erin Rhoads.
Meet Erin Rhoads, our first-ever sustainability ambassador. Erin Rhoads, also known as The Rogue Ginger, has been on her own eco mission for the past seven years, and is now excited to show Melbourne shoppers how to live and shop sustainably at the Queen Vic Market, especially during isolation.
“Shopping at the Queen Victoria Market is something I love to do. I love how easy the Market makes it to shop for locally grown produce without needing to create waste. I want to show people how and where to shop sustainably at the Market, and also share my tips and tricks on how to live life more sustainably, particularly during isolation,” Erin said.
Click here to read more about Erin.
Reusable products on offer at Queen Vic Market
Many small acts make a phenomenal difference, join the reuse revolution today and shop our Queen Vic Market branded products including KeepCups, jute bags, stainless steel straws and reusable black bags.
Shop the reusable range at our Visitor Hub, located at the bottom of String Bean Alley.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the plastic bag and straw ban begin?
Tuesday 14 May 2019
Why is Queen Vic Market phasing out plastic bags and straws?
Queen Vic Market is committed to increasing sustainability at the Market and a big part of this is eliminating the use of non-recyclable materials, such as plastic bags and straws.
They litter our parks and beaches, block drains, endanger wildlife and take up to 1,000 years to break down. In fact, Australians use an estimated 10 million plastic bags and 10 million plastic straws every day, and each year on Clean Up Australia Day plastic is identified as the major source of rubbish throughout Australia.
Made from non-renewable natural resources, the production of plastic straws and bags are a significant contributor to climate change. The simplest way to reduce plastic pollution is to reject single-use plastics, like bags and straws!
What does the ban include?
- Common lightweight single-use plastic bags with handles, including biodegradable, degradable and compostable plastic.
- Thick plastic bags (like those used by department stores).
- Plastic straws.
Thin plastic barrier bags without handles used for fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, delicatessen items and bread are still allowed.
Why are biodegradable bags and thick plastic bags included in the ban?
Biodegradable bags: Research has found that there is much confusion around whether these are more environmentally friendly than typical plastic bags as they also harm the environment and wildlife. There is also confusion about the claims manufacturers make about biodegradable, compostable and degradable bags; they can be misleading.
Thick plastic bags: The following are some reasons why Queen Vic Market has included thick plastic bags, similar those used by department stores, in the ban.
- Thick plastic bags also harm the environment and wildlife.
- Thick plastic bags consume more resources to produce and take longer to break down compared to light weight plastic bags.
- Thick plastic bags are likely to be used in exactly the same way as light weight plastic bags are currently being used.
Why are plastic barrier bags still allowed?
Plastic barrier bags are still allowed to avoid cross contamination of pathogens from raw to ready-to-eat product when placed together in a shopping bag.
Why should I have to pay for a bag?
Our traders may charge a small fee for a paper bag, which will be at each trader’s discretion. Whilst paper bags are a more sustainable option, it’s important to remember that the production of paper bags still has an impact on our environment and therefore it’s best to get into the habit to remember to bring your own re-usable bags, baskets or shopping jeeps when visiting the Market.
Did this move have community support?
Yes! In June 2018 we reached out to the Market community to find out how you felt about plastic bags and straws at the Market. 1,100 people had their say, with an overwhelming 80% of customers supporting a move to ban plastic bags. Furthermore, 70% supported extending the ban to other single-use plastics such as straws at the Market.
How have you communicated this change to traders?
In October 2018, all traders were invited to provide their feedback and more than 70% of traders were supportive of going plastic bag and straw free. Since then, we’ve worked closely with traders to introduce this change. In fact, we are proud to say that we have a number of traders who are leading the way and are already plastic bag and straw free.
What else can I do to kick my single-use plastic habit?
- A good way to start is by saying NO to the big four single-use plastics: Bags, straws, water bottles and coffee cups.
- By shopping at the Market you’re already on your way to saying NO to plastic bags and straws.
- Also say NO to bottled water by bringing your own refillable water bottle and fill up at one of the water fountains around the Market.
- You can also say NO to a take away coffee cup by bringing your own reusable coffee cup or have your coffee to stay.
- If you don’t have a refillable water bottle or a reusable coffee cup you can purchase a Queen Vic Market branded KeepCup or a water bottle from our Visitor Hub.
Can I bring in my own reusable container from home for fresh produce?
It is at the trader’s own discretion as to whether they will accept your own reusable containers for produce. Please check with your favourite traders.
When will you implement bans on other single-use plastics?
Queen Vic Market is committed to implementing sustainable practices. Banning other single-use plastic items will be an ongoing project for the Market and we will continue to work with traders to find more sustainable alternatives.