Single-use Plastic Bans
Posted: 14 Jun 2022

 

Across Australia, different regulations are currently in place for single-use plastic items. These plans are a positive step towards avoiding waste and reducing the harm caused to our wildlife, including marine life, through litter and pollution. We can all do our part to support this by making the change to sustainable packaging.

Our team can help your business through these changes. Download our Single-Use Plastic Bans Chart.

 

Read the National Plastics Plan

Stage 1: 1 JULY 2022

  • Phaseout non compostable plastic packaging containing additive fragmentable technology that do that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2020 and EN13432)
  • Phase out expanded polystyrene (EPS) in loose fill and moulded consumer packaging

 

Stage 2: 1 DECEMBER 2022

  • Phase out expanded polystyrene (EPS) food and beverage containers

 

2025: National Packaging Targets for industry

  • 100% of packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable
  • 70% of plastic packaging goes on to be recycled or composted
  • 50% average recycled content within packaging (20% for plastic packaging) – problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging phased out (target 5 or NWPAP)

 

 

Read the NSW Plastics Action Plan

Stage 1: 1 JUNE 2022

  • Lightweight shopping bags (less than 35 microns thick)

 

Stage 2: 1 NOVEMBER 2022

  • Plastic straws (Bioplastics are not exempt. Exemptions are in place for members of the community to continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements), click here to find out more.
  • Plastic stirrers (Bioplastics not exempt)
  • Plastic cutlery (Bioplastics not exempt)
  • Cotton-buds with plastic sticks
  • Plastic plates (Bioplastics not exempt)
  • Plastic bowls (Bioplastics not exempt. Excludes bowls designed or intended to have a leak-proof lid)
  • Expanded polystyrene food service items (Only EPS banned, can change to non-plastic or plastic cups or clamshells)

REVIEW IN 2024

  • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags
  • Barrier/ produce bags
  • Plastic cups and lids
  • Plastic lined coffee cups and lids (Not explicitly mentioned but expected to align with cups strategy)

 

Read the Single-Use Plastics Ban

Lightweight plastic shopping bags (less than 35 microns thick) were banned in November 2011.

STAGE 1: 1 JULY 2021

  • Plastic cutlery (Bioplastics and oxo-degradable not exempt. Select exemptions exist)
  • Plastic stirrers (Bioplastics and oxo-degradable not exempt. Select exemptions exist)
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway food and beverage containers (Prepackaged exempt. PLA bioplastic replacements are accepted)

 

STAGE 2: 1 JULY 2022

  • Plastic straws (Second round ban – Under current discussion with stakeholders*)
  • Plastic fruit and vegetable “barrier bags” (Compostable alternatives being accepted)
  • Cotton buds with plastic sticks
  • All other plastic products that are made from non-compostable degradable plastics. Compostable packaging alternatives are exempt.

 

Read the Single-Use Plastics Ban Plan

Lightweight plastic shopping bags (include 35 um or less at any part of the bag) were banned in November 2019. Government departments and agencies will phase out single-use plastics, where it is safe to do so, by February 2022 ahead of the February 2023 ban.

STAGE 1: 1 FEBRUARY 2023

  • Plastic straws (there are exemptions in place for members of the community to continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements)
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Plastic stirrers
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) food and drink containers
  • Cotton bud sticks
  • Plastic plates
  • The above products made of oxo-degradable plastic are included in the ban

 

FUTURE STAGES

Longer-term consideration will be given to phasing out other problematic single-use plastic products such as plastic-lined coffee cups and lids, single-use plastic dinnerware and boutique or heavyweight plastic bags.

 

Read the Single-Use Plastics By-Law Information

The city of Hobart now has a by-law that bans certain single-use plastic food packaging, which will be enforceable from 1 July 2021.

STAGE 1: 1 JULY 2021 (Hobart)

  • Plastic cutlery
  • Sauce sachets (e.g. tomato, soy, tartare)
  • Plastic takeaway food containers and lids
  • Takeaway plastic straws
  • Plastic lined noodle boxes
  • Plastic lined coffee cups
  • Plastic lids on takeaway
  • Plastic sandwich wedges

*Exempt: Compostable plastics and other packaging products that are certified Industrially (AS4736, EN13432 or D6400) or home compostable (AS 5810) are allowed/exempt from the ban

 

Read the Single-Use Plastic Items Ban

Lightweight plastic shopping bags (includes 35 um or less at any part of the bag) were banned in July 2018. Queensland’s wider ban on the supply of single-use plastic items started on 1 September 2021. The single-use plastic items ban is part of Queensland’s plan to tackle plastic pollution and follows strong support from the community, retailers and industry organisations.

  • Single-use plastic straws (straws attached to shelf-ready, pre-packaged items are exempt) (there are exemptions in place for members of the community to continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements)
  • Plastic stirrers and swizzle sticks
  • Plastic plates
  • Unenclosed plastic bowls
  • Plastic forks, spoons, knives, splayds, chopsticks, and food pics (cutlery attached to shelf-ready, pre-packaged items are exempt)
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway food containers
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) cups

*Exempt: Compostable plastics and other packaging products that are certified to the Australian Industrially (AS4736) or Australian home compostable (AS5810) standards are allowed/exempt from the ban.

 

Read the Single-Use Plastic Items Ban

Lightweight plastic shopping bags (includes 35 um or less at any part of the bag) were banned in September 2011. The City of Darwin put in place plastic bans in January 2019. These bans apply to types of disposable items that cannot be used at events on council land and at Darwin’s markets.

 

STAGE 1: 1 JANUARY 2019

  • Disposable cups (coffee and cold) and lids
  • Cutlery (and stirrers)
  • Plates and bowls
  • Takeaway containers
  • Straws (there are exemptions in places for members of the community to
    continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements)
  • Balloons

*Exempt: Compostable plastics and other packaging products that are certified to the Australian Industrially (AS4736) or Australian home (AS5810) standards are allowed/exempt from the ban.

 

Read about Replace The Waste

South Australia’s Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020 was the first legislation of its kind in Australia.

Stage 1: 1 MARCH 2021

  • Plastic straws (Bioplastics and oxo-degradable not exempt however there are exemptions in place for members of the community to continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements)
  • Plastic stirrers (Bioplastics and oxo-degradable not exempt)
  • Plastic cutlery (Bioplastics and oxo-degradable not exempt)

Stage 2: 1 MARCH 2022

  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) cups, bowls, plates, and containers (oxo-degradable products are not exempt)

EXEMPT: PLA lined cups, bowls and paper cups are exempt from the ban

 

Read the Plan for Plastics

On 13 June 2021 the State Government announced it was fast-tracking Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics.

STAGE 1: 1 JULY 2022

  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Drink stirrers
  • Drinking straws (exemptions in place for members of the community to continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements)
  • Cold beverage Cups
  • Thick plastic bags
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway food containers
  • Helium balloon releases

*Exempt: Compostable plastics and other packaging products that are certified to the Australian Industrially (AS4736) or Australian home compostable (AS5810) standards are allowed/exempt from the ban. Clear PLA cups although compostable to Australian standards is banned.
*Enforcement of Stage 1 regulations will start on 1 July 2022 for all items except for cups, which starts on 1 October 2022, to provide time for everyone to adapt.

STAGE 2: 1 JANUARY 2023 (Proposed)

  • Microbeads
  • Coffee cups/lids
  • Cotton buds with plastic shafts
  • Barrier/produce bags
  • Polystyrene packaging
  • Oxo-degradable plastics

The plan also includes actions for pre-packed fruit and vegetables, plastic beverage containers, takeaway food and beverage containers and plastic packaging.

 

Read about Phasing out hard to recycle and single use plastics

New Zealand will ban problematic plastics and hard-to-recycle food and drink packaging in three stages between late 2022 and July 2025. This plan is a positive step towards avoiding waste and reducing the harm caused to our soils, waterways and the ocean through litter and pollution.

STAGE 1: LATE 2022 (Proposed)

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) meat trays
  • Rigid polystyrene (PS) takeaway packaging
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) food and beverage packaging including takeaway containers
  • Degradable plastic products (eg, oxo- and photo-degradable)
  • Plastic drink stirrers
  • Plastic stemmed cotton-buds, including PLA compostable cotton buds and drink stirrers

 

STAGE 2: MID 2023 (Proposed)

  • Plastic produce bags
  • Plastic plates, bowls and cutlery
  • Plastic straws (exemptions in place for members of the community to continue to access plastic straws for medical or disability requirements)
  • Plastic produce labels

 

STAGE 3: MID 2025 (Proposed)

  • All other PVC food and beverage packaging
  • All other PS food and beverage packaging

The government expects more work to be done on how to introduce phase-outs of certain types of expanded polystyrene, single-use cups (including coffee cups) and wed wipes.

 

The National Retail Association (NRA) Policy team are the leading experts on plastic bans across Australia, and can answer any of your questions on current and proposed bans in QLD, NSW, WA, SA, VIC and ACT. The NRA will work with retailers as they transition away from plastic. For more information, call the NRA Hotline on 1800 844 946 or visit their website.

 

Our team is also available to help you find alternative solutions. Get in touch today!