|Single-use plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental issues facing our planet. Castaway® Food Packaging supports the Single-use Plastic Bans that are coming into effect around Australia and New Zealand this year, starting with South Australia.|
What is the Single-use Plastic Ban?
In September 2020, in a landmark piece of legislation, South Australian became the first state in Australia to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic products. Initially this will include straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers.
The definition of plastic in the Bill includes plastics of both plant-based and fossil-fuel based origin. The programme will expand to include polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshells containers in early 2022. There is a framework for adding more items in the future.
Oxo-degradable plastic items will also be prohibited from manufacture and sale, because they contain additives that break products down into micro-plastics, which will never decompose.
South Australia’s ban on single-use plastic begins on 1 March 2021. So, what does this mean for you and how do you prepare?
Businesses and the Single-use Plastic Ban
If you’re in business and usually rely on single-use plastic products, you can prepare now by taking these steps:
Leading the way for a sustainable future
On the 1st of March 2021, legislation will start to have a direct impact with South Australia banning select single-use items from March this year, and Queensland committing to similar bans from September 2021.
This momentous change will tackle waste in the food service industry first by striking balance right between food safety and environmental management. The ban covers plastic cutlery, plastic straws and plastic stirrers. This change will also include problematic bioplastic versions of these items.
Phase out immediately
While in such instances some of these products can be avoided altogether, for the most part these items will need to be transitioned to a sustainable product alternatives.
Phase out after 12 months
The next items identified for phase-out consider that a longer transitional period may be required for businesses/retailers, with a proposed implementation timeframe of 12 months following the commencement of the legislation.
Sending the early signal to the market on these items allows time for transitional arrangements to commence prior to the legislation taking effect. With regards to single-use plastic straws, the legislation will determine how to phase this product from the general community while carefully considering the needs of people with a disability.
Fines will be in place from March 1, 2021 for businesses that don’t comply with the new laws. More information about the roll-out, fines for non-compliance, and alternatives to single-use plastics, is provided on the Replace The Waste website.
Our team is at the ready to assist you ease into this transition. For more information, please get in touch with us.