Single-use plastic ban

Plastic has been around for years, and that’s a problem. If plastic is not recycled correctly, it causes environmental issues such as releasing methane (which contributes to climate change) and threatening our wildlife, for example marine animals can mistake plastic for food and ingest or choke on the plastic.

animals and plastic issue

What is the Single-use plastic ban?

There is a voluntary target for states to phase out eight problematic plastic products by 2025 under the National Waste Policy Action Plan. These products are:

  • Lightweight plastics bags
  • Plastic misleadingly labelled ‘degradable’
  • Plastic utensils and stirrers
  • Plastic straws
  • Polystyrene food containers
  • Polystyrene consumer good packaging
  • Microbeads in personal care products

The single-use plastic ban is a result of this voluntary target. Each state is responsible for their own policies and actions towards the National Waste Policy Action Plan. Because of this, the single-use plastic ban will look different in each state. See our state breakdown below to find out more.

Generally speaking, the single-use plastic ban is a ban that restricts single-use plastic including drinking straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers, some packaging containers and cotton bud sticks.

What are the state’s single-use plastic bans?

Each state has their own bans and regulations on single-use plastic.

single use plastic ban australia

VIC

The Single-use plastic ban will come into effect from 1 February 2023 and include:

  • Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, plates and bowls and expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items.
  • Single-use cotton buds.

This includes compostable plastic items such as bioplastic and oxo-degradable materials.

For more information:
VIC State Government
Vic Bag Ban

NSW

The Single-use plastic ban will come into effect from 1 June 2022 and include:

  • Lightweight plastic shopping bags will be banned from 1 June 2022.
  • Single-use plastics straws, stirrers and cutlery, plates and bowls and EPS food service items will be banned from 1 November 2022.
  • Single-use cotton buds and microbeads in certain personal care products will be banned from 1 November 2022.

This includes compostable plastic items such as bioplastic and oxo-degradable materials including certified compostable.

For more information:
NSW Department of Planning and Environment

QLD

The Single-use plastic bans has been in effect since 1 September 2021 and includes:

  • Single-use plastics straws, stirrers and cutlery, plates and bowls and EPS food service items.

This includes compostable plastic items such as bioplastic and oxo-degradable materials that do not meet Australia Standards.

For more information:
QLD State Government

ACT

Tranche 1 of the Single-use plastic ban has been in effect since 1 July 2021 and includes:

  • Single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers and EPS food service items.

Tranche 2 of the Single-use plastic ban will come into effect from 1 July 2022 and includes:

  • Single-use plastic straws, fruit & vegetable bags, cotton buts with plastic sticks and all oxo-degradable plastic bags.

For more information:
ACT State Government

WA

WA have introduced a two-stage Single-use plastic ban.

Stage 1 of the Single-use plastic ban has been in effect since 1 January 2022 and includes:

  • Single-use plates, bowls, cutlery, drink stirrers, drinking straws, cups, thick plastic bags, EPS takeaway food containers and helium balloon releases.

While it has come into effect, it is not enforced until 1 July 2022 for all items except for cups which will be enforced from 1 October 2022.

Stage 2 of the Single-use plastic ban will come into effect from 1 January 2023 and includes:

  • Microbeads, coffee cups/lids, polystyrene cups, cotton buds with plastic shafts, barrier/produce bags, polystrene packaging and oxo-degradable plastics.

For more information:
WA State Government
WA State Government – Plastic Plan
WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

SA

SA have introduced a two-stage Single-use plastic ban.

Stage 1 of the Single-use plastic ban has been in effect since 1 March 2021 and includes:

  • Single-use plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers

Stage 2 of the Single-use plastic ban has been in effect since 1 March 2022 and includes:

  • EPS food service items

For more information:
Replace the Waste
SA EPA

NT

NT has not committed to any additional plastic bans other than the deliberate release of helium balloons and lightweight plastic bags ban.

For more information:
NT State Government
NT Environment Protection Authority

Tas

Tasmania has not committed to any additional plastic bans other than the lightweight plastic bags ban.

For more information:
TAS EPA

Who does it effect?

Environment:

The single-use plastic ban was designed for environmental benefit. Minimising single-use plastic will:

  • Reduce litter on streets, waterways and public spaces
  • Reduce climate change impacts from methane produced by single-use plastics
  • Reduce wildlife harm from food contamination, ingestion and entanglement
  • Marginally reduce reliance of fossil fuels for creation of single-use plastics

Packaging manufacturers:

Manufacturers of single-use plastic products will have to find alternative solutions to their plastic production. Closed Loop have been phasing out single-use plastic through our sustainable packaging options.

Packaging logistics:

Suppliers and distributors are also changing their behaviours to move towards alternative solutions. This can include bamboo utensils, FSC certified packaging or plastic free cups.

Consumers:

Most consumers are unaware of the impact of single-use plastics. The ban will enable behaviour change and discussion on problematic material use.

Sustainable packaging

Closed Loop have a range of sustainable packaging options that are not banned under any current single-use plastic bans.

Contact us to discuss your packaging needs.

Plastic free cups
Plastic free cutlery
Kraft snack range
Kraft combo box plastic free packaging
Combo boxes
Enviro range

Single-use plastics are not necessarily the issue.

Some single-use plastics such as coffee cups with plastic linings can be collected and recycled via Simply Cups (Australia’s Largest Coffee Cup Recycling Program). Similarly, REDcycle provides a recycling stream for soft plastics such as lightweight plastic bags.

For Australians to really reduce our impact on the environment and contribute less to landfill, we need to follow and educate on the waste hierarchy and REFUSE or REDUCE our virgin plastic requirements.

This can mean using a reusable coffee cup instead of a single-use coffee cup, or refusing single-use cutlery when ordering take-away. As a business, there are a range of possibilities to reduce your plastic intake. Contact us for a circular economy consult today.

 

 

Last updated: 27th April 2022