Article

Have Your Say on Single-Use Plastics

Wednesday, 29 Dec, 2021

The Problem

There is no doubt that one of the biggest threats to the ocean and environment is the scourge of single-use plastics. 

 

Single-use plastic accounts for over a third of all plastic manufactured every year, with 98% made from fossil fuels. Plastic that is used once - for a few moments and then discarded or tossed away, polluting the environment. From plastic straws, water bottles, coffee cups and lids, to plastic packaging and plastic bags - single-use plastic is everywhere.

 

With global plastic production expected to double in the next 20 years and Australia producing in excess of 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, society’s insatiable appetite for single-use plastics must be stopped to protect the health of the ocean and ultimately ourselves.

Have your say on single-use plastics
What can you do?

Thankfully, action is being taken against problematic single-use items, with several states in 2021 implementing their first tranche of single-use plastic bans. This is a good start, but there is still a long way to go and we need your help. 

 

So, what can you do? Right now the ACT, QLD and SA want to hear your views on single-use plastics. If you're in one of these states, click on the links below to find out how you can use your voice to help ban the use of single-use plastics.

Queensland

South Australia

Australian Capital Territory

If you're in another state, find out your state's current status on single-use plastics. 

Queensland

On 1 September 2021, Queensland commenced a ban on the following single-use plastic items:

  • Straws and stirrers

  • Bowls with lids

  • Cutlery

  • Expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups

Now, the Queensland Government is seeking feedback on expanding the ban to include other single-use plastic items such as:

  • Takeaway coffee cups and lids

  • Drinking cups

  • Magazine wrapping

  • Fruit and vegetable bags

  • Expanded polystyrene fruit and meat trays

 

Have your say and take the survey today.

 

Consultation closes on Friday 28 January 2022. For more information, visit the website here.

South Australia

After becoming the first state in Australia to ban single-use plastic bags in 2009, and single-use plastic items like plastic straws and cutlery in March 2021, South Australia will be ban polystyrene items like cups, bowls, plates and ‘clamshell’ containers and all oxo-degradable products from 1 March, 2022.

 

The SA Government is now seeking community feedback on further bans of single-use plastics. A range of single-use products that can be made of alternatives such as reusable, recyclable, or compostable have been identified. Learn more about these in the consultation paper here.

 

Have your say by:

  • Taking the survey

  • Emailing a submission to greenindustries@sa.gov.au

  • Writing a submission to:
    Green Industries SA
    GPO Box 1047
    Adelaide SA 5001

 

Consultation closes on Saturday 19 February 2022.

 

For further information visit: https://yoursay.sa.gov.au/turning-the-tide-future-of-single-use-plastic-in-south-australia

Australian Capital Territory

UPDATE: SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

 

The ACT was the second Australian jurisdiction to enact laws to ban certain single-use plastics with the Plastic Reduction Act 2021 coming into effect 1 July 2021 banning the sale, supply or distribution of the following single-use items:

  • Plastic cutlery

  • Plastic beverage stirrers

  • Expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers

 

Now the ACT Government is looking at bans on additional single-use plastic items and this is where you come in!

 

From 1 July 2022, the ACT Government is proposing to commence bans on the following items:

  • Single-use plastic straws (with exemptions for those who need them)

  • Single-use plastic fruit and vegetable “barrier bags”

  • Cotton buds with plastic sticks

  • All oxo-degradable plastic products such as degradable plastic bags and degradable dog waste bags. These have additives that enable the plastic to break down into tiny fragments (microplastics) which do not completely decompose and are harmful to the environment.

 

Consultation closes Wednesday 12 January 2022. 

 

Have your say by:

  • Completing the survey

  • Sending in a written submission:

    • Email: singleuseplastics@act.gov.au - please use the subject title Single-use plastics: Tranche 2

    • Mail to: Waste Policy, Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate, PO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601.

 

For more information, visit the website: Next Steps Policy 2021.

What is the status of the other Australian states? Find out below. 

Western Australia

Commencing on 1 January 2022 Western Australia is fast-tracking its Plan for Plastics by four years with the commencement of the single-use plastics ban on plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws, thick plastic bags, polystyrene food containers and helium balloon releases. 


For more information, visit the website: Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics | Western Australian Government (www.wa.gov.au)

New South Wales

Single-use lightweight plastic bags will (finally) be banned from 1 June, followed on 1 November 2022 with bans on plastic straws, stirrers and swizzle sticks, and cutlery, including forks, spoons, knives, sporks, splades, chopsticks, and food picks, plates and expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items such as clamshells, cups, plates and bowls.

 

Bans will also come into effect for single-use plastic cotton buds and rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads, such as face and body cleansers, exfoliants and masks, shampoo, conditioner and hair dyes, and toothpaste.

 

For more information, visit the website: Phasing out single-use plastics in NSW | NSW Dept of Planning, Industry and Environment

Victoria, Northern Territory and Tasmania

Victoria has announced it will ban the following by February 2023:

  • Single-use straws

  • Cutlery and plates

  • Beverage stirrers

  • Expanded polystyrene food and drink containers

  • Cotton bud sticks 

 

For full details visit: Single-use plastics ban | Victorian Government (www.vic.gov.au).


The Northern Territory and Tasmania are yet to make any commitments.

Conclusion

2022 will continue to be a big year of change for single-use plastics in Australia.

 

Thank you for using your voice to help put a stop to the use of single-use plastics. Together, we are pushing for a healthier future for our precious blue planet. 

 

Make sure you share this with your friends and family. Every voice helps!

 

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