Single-use plastics taskforce meets for the first time

The taskforce is set to help inform the next steps towards the banning of single-use plastics in South Australia.

A taskforce with representation from 15 different organisations has met for the first time to help inform the next steps towards the banning of single-use plastics in South Australia.

The taskforce has been asked to consider what impacts legislation might have to businesses and the community and to provide advice on what a phase out of single-use plastic straws, cups, drink stirrers and food service items might look like.

A wide range of members from interested stakeholders make up the taskforce, including environmental groups, business representatives, the hospitality industry as well as disability advocates.

The group will discuss solutions and alternatives as part of any move to phase out single-use plastics to ensure South Australians can transition smoothly.

The taskforce will also seek presentations and meetings with those with a stake in any future changes to legislation, and will assist with the communication with the community and business ensuring South Australia maintains its leading reputation in sustainability and the environment.

The meeting of the taskforce follows last month’s announcement of South Australia’s first four plastic-free precincts.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said South Australia is leading the nation and the world when it comes to making important decisions to protect the environment.

“We were the first state in Australia to introduce deposits on containers, the first state in Australia to ban plastic bags and we’re well ahead on moves now to reduce our use of single-use plastics,” he said.

“The issue of our plastic use and plastic pollution is one of the most pressing topics of our time and we won’t be left standing on the sidelines watching the impact on our environment go unchecked. We want South Australia to again lead the way nationally and provide a blueprint for how to reduce single-use plastics.”

The Parade Norwood, the Adelaide Central Markets, Jetty Road Brighton and all 21 Surf Life Saving Clubs are part of the plastic free precincts trial announced last month.

The first business in South Australia to officially achieve ‘Plastic Free Champion’ status under the Plastic Free Precinct partnership being run by Green Industries SA and Boomerang Alliance is also set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Legislation banning single-use plastics in South Australia is expected to be introduced into Parliament in the first half of 2020.

The members of the Government’s single use plastics task force include:

  • Australian Food and Grocery Council
  • Australian Hotels Association (SA)
  • Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation
  • Conservation Council SA
  • Environment Protection Authority
  • Green Industries SA
  • KESAB environmental solutions
  • Local Government Association of SA
  • National Retail Association
  • JFA Purple Orange (disability advocate)
  • Disability Elders of All Ages (disability advocate)
  • Restaurant and Catering Industry Association
  • SA Independent Retailers
  • Waste Management Resource Recovery Association (WMRR)
  • Woolworths Group

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