South Australia has become the first state to ban single-use plastics, with drinking straws, stirrers and cutlery to be prohibited from sale, supply or distribution.
The ban is the first of its kind across Australia and follows the legislation passing Parliament last year. Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said 1 March 2021 will forever be a proud day for South Australia.
“By being a first mover nationally we’ve already seen businesses who manufacture re-useable and compostable alternatives start to set up in South Australia, which means our single-use plastic ban will have significant economic benefits and create local jobs, as well as being good for the environment,” Speirs said.
The legislation has been developed with the help of Single-Use Plastics Taskforce which has representation from 15 different organisations, including people living with a disability.
“We will continue to consider more products such as takeaway coffee cups, plastic barrier bags and other takeaway food service items as market demand increases and other sustainable alternatives become available.”
The legislation does not prevent members of the community from bringing their own straws to cafes, and any business can choose to supply individual single-use plastic drinking straws on request, due to disability or medical needs.
Prescribed businesses including pharmacies, local government offices, charities, and medical, dental and care facilities are able to sell and supply packs of straws for these purposes.
Bioplastics, like PLA (Polylactic Acid), that can be labelled compostable, are also banned as these can only be composted under strict industrial conditions.
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