South Australia considers banning single-use plastics

South Australian Government considers banning single-use plastics such as straws and plastic bags.

The South Australian Government is considering banning single-use plastics such as straws and plastic bags.

Environment Minister David Speirs launched a discussion paper this week, titled Turning the Tide on Single-Use Plastic Products, seeking community and business views on ways to reduce the environmental impacts of plastic items frequently littered, such as coffee cups, straws and plastic bags.

Included in the discussion paper is also a review of the container deposit scheme (CDS) which will look at what sort of containers should be included in the scheme and whether the refund amount should be revised.

Speirs said South Australia is a national leader in recycling and resource recovery and it is important to have a discussion about single-use plastics and the container deposit scheme.

“I am keen to keep South Australia at the forefront of these areas, and to maintain this position while also increasing economic activity.”

In October 2018 the European Parliament voted for a complete ban on a range of single-use plastic products, including straws, plates and cutlery from the EU market in a bid to stop ocean pollution.

Under draft plans approved by the Environment and Public Health Committee, single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, cotton bud sticks, straws and beverage stirrers (all of which make up more than 70 per cent of marine litter) are to be banned from the EU market from 2021.

“We can take more immediate local action on items that are designed and intended for disposal after only a single use, are prone to being littered, are unlikely to be recycled and for which more sustainable alternatives are available,” Speirs said.

“South Australia has been a leader in litter reduction and resource recovery for many years, and led the nation in 1977 with the introduction of our successful container deposit scheme.

“In addition to reducing single-use plastics, there’s also an opportunity to see whether we can further improve the scheme.”

Consultation on both discussion papers will close 22 February 2019. Submissions can be made on the yourSAy website.

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