Tackling the single-use plastic challenge in Australia: state-by-state overview

Plastics play an important role in our economy and daily lives. When used in packaging, plastic helps ensure food safety and reduce food waste. But often, the way plastics are produced, used and discarded can result in wasted resources, causing pollution and litter.

Bonson supports the single-use plastic bans as an effort to reduce the use of problematic single-use plastic products. As a packaging supplier, we are proud to be leading the way with our food service customers in making the change, taking a positive step towards a circular economy by avoiding waste and shifting to reusable or recyclable options in plastic packaging.

Australia’s national plan in tackling plastic waste

As a nation, the Australian Government is taking action through the National Plastic Plan, working with states, industry and community towards reducing plastic waste and pollution.

Prevention  Addressing plastics at its source > Recycling  Taking responsibility for our plastics > Consumers Helping consumers take action > Addressing marine plastic pollution > Research, innovation, and data

 

The first step to reducing plastic waste and pollution is to prevent the use of unnecessary and problematic plastics. At the prevention phase of the plan, States are taking actions to phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics in line with the national goals:

By Jul 2022

  • Phase out oxo-degradable plastic packaging
  • Phase out expanded polystyrene (EPS) in loose-fill and moulded consumer packaging

By Dec 2022

  • Phase out expanded polystyrene (EPS) consumer food and beverage containers
  • Phase out polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging labels

 

Overview of the plastic legislation status, state-by-state…

 

South Australia  |  Plastic ban effective from 1 Mar 2021

South Australia’s Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020 was passed on 9 September 2020. The legislation prohibits the sale, supply or distribution of the banned items in the state:

From 1 Mar 2021

  • Single-use plastic straws (exemption applies)
  • Single-use plastic stirrers
  • Single-use plastic cutlery

This ban applies to PLA bioplastic alternatives.

From 1 Mar 2022

  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging – including cups, bowls, plates and containers
  • Oxo-degradable plastic products

For more details about the ban, click the button below to view our factsheet and alternative flyer, or visit the SA Government Replace the Waste website.

south-australia-single-use-plastic-ban-explained

 

Queensland   |  Plastic ban effective from 1 Sep 2021

Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan outlines its approach to tackle plastic waste in the state, in line with the national and global sustainability goals. The Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Act 2021 was passed on 10 March 2021, prohibiting the sale or supply of the banned items in Queensland, from 1 September 2021:

  • Single-use plastic straws
  • Sing-use plastic stirrers
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
  • Single-use plastic plates and bowls
  • EPS containers and cups

Note:

  • The banned items can continue to be supplied if they are a part of shelf-ready, pre-packaged products.
  • Compostable plastics that are certified home (AS 5810) or industrially (AS 4736) compostable under the Australian standards are exempt from the ban.

For more details about the ban, click the button below to view our factsheet and alternative flyer, or visit the Queensland Government website.

queensland-single-use-plastic-ban-explained

 

Tasmania, Hobart City Council  |  Plastic ban effective from 1 Jul 2021

The City of Hobart has a by-law that is targeted towards single-use plastic items at takeaway food retailers. The ban will be enforceable from 1 July 2021, prohibiting a shop operator from providing the following takeaway packaging:

  • Single-use plastic tubs and lids
  • Single-use plastic cups and cup lids
  • Single-use plastic utensils, including cutlery, stirrers and straws
  • Single-use plastic sachets or packets which provide single serves of condiments

For more details about the ban, visit the Hobart City Council website.

 

Australian Capital Territory  |  Plastic ban effective from 1 Jul 2021

ACT’s Plastic Reduction Bill 2020 was passed on 30 March 2021, prohibiting the banned items from sale, supply or distribution in the ACT from 1 July 2021:

  • Single-use plastic cutlery (including bioplastic alternatives)
  • Single-use plastic stirrers (including bioplastic alternatives)
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway food and beverage containers

The use of single-use plastic cutlery in detainee or mental health patient-facing settings will be exempt from the legislation until 1 July 2022, while a trial is underway to identify safe alternatives.

For more details about the ban, visit the ACT Government’s website.

 

Victoria  |  Expected to introduce legislation by Feb 2023

Victoria is working on the single-use plastic regulations, prohibiting the single-use plastic items from sale or supply in Victoria by February 2023:

  • Single-use plastic straws
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
  • Single-use plastic plates
  • Single-use plastic drink-stirrers
  • expanded polystyrene (EPS) food and drink containers
  • Single-use plastic cotton bud sticks

For more information about Victoria’s coming plastic ban, visit Victoria Government’s website.

 

Western Australia  |  Expected to introduce legislation by late 2023

A consultation has been carried out in Western Australia for the Let’s not draw the short straw – reducing single-use plastic issues paper in April 2019. In response to the consultation feedback, the WA Government has released Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics. The Plan for Plastics is expected to be delivered over the short (2020 to 2023) and medium-term (2024 to 2026) in stages.

The short-term (2020 to 2023) actions involve the phasing-out of:

  • Single-use plastic plates
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
  • Single-use plastic stirrers
  • Single-use plastic straws
  • Thick plastic bags
  • Polystyrene (PS) food containers
  • Helium balloon releases

Visit Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics website for more information.

 

New South Wales  |  In Consultation

The New South Wales Government has released a discussion paper Cleaning Up Our Act: Redirecting the Future of Plastic in NSW in March 2020, gathering public feedback on its proposed plan to reduce plastic waste and litter alongside its proposed 20-Year Waste Strategy. A report summarising the key findings of the consultation will be made available in the coming stage of its plan.

 

 

Bonson believes that the ultimate environmental solution is a circular economy and we are committed to helping our customers to reduce plastic pollution in Australasia.

Our Bonson Enviro division offers a wide range of packaging that is made with more sustainable materials including sugarcane and paper. The compostable and biodegradable alternatives to plastics are the ideal solutions for phasing out problematic packaging.

 

 

 

 

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