South Australia has become the first state in the country to ban single-use plastics, with legislation passed in parliament 9 September.
The state government’s Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 bans the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic products.
With COVID-19 restrictions still impacting the state, particularly the hospitality industry, legislation won’t commence until early 2021.
“This will give businesses time to bounce back and properly prepare before the ban comes into effect in early 2021,” Environment Minister David Speirs said.
“This approach strikes an appropriate balance between the public’s desire for change and the needs of businesses.”
The legislation bans single-use plastic items like straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers, while outlining a framework for adding more items in the future.
“There has been significant community and industry support for swift action on single-use plastic products, with many households and businesses across the state already taking steps to remove them,” Speirs said.
The legislation was developed with help from the state’s Single-Use Plastics Taskforce, which has representation from 15 different organisations, including people living with a disability.
“Through this taskforce, we’ve developed an approach that balances the benefit to the environment with minimising impact for businesses and accommodating the needs of people living with a disability, who might find themselves reliant on certain single-use plastics,” Speirs said.
Queensland is set to be the next state to ban single-use plastics, with legislation introduced into parliament in July.
In March, the state government asked Queenslanders to decide on the future of single-use plastics, with 94 per cent of the 20,000 respondents in favour of a ban.
The ACT also tabled an exposure draft of the Plastic Reduction Bill 2020 in the Legislative Assembly in August, with a formal phase out of single-use plastics expected to begin from July 2021.