South Australia has become the first state in the country to ban single-use plastics with legislation passing Parliament on Wednesday.
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 such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers in South Australia.
However, in light of ongoing impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, the commencement of the legislation won’t occur until early 2021.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said there has been strong feedback from South Australians keen to see action on single-use plastics.
“Our legislation at first bans single-use plastic items like straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers and outlines a framework for adding more items in the future. However, with COVID-19 restrictions still impacting on society and in particular the hospitality industry, we will delay the commencement of the legislation.
“This will give businesses time to bounce back and properly prepare before the ban comes into effect in early 2021. This approach strikes an appropriate balance between the public’s desire for change and the needs of businesses.”
Speirs said the legislation has been developed with the help of its 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.
“South Australia has always led the nation and the world when it comes to making important decisions to protect our environment.
“We were the first state in Australia to introduce deposits on containers, the first state in Australia to ban lightweight plastic bags and we’re now the first state to pass legislation banning single-use plastics.”
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