Second wave of plastic bans proposed for ACT, QLD and SA

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white and red plastic cup on water

Australia’s leading ocean conservation group has welcomed new state government proposals for a second wave of plastic items to be banned.

The Queensland and South Australia governments have today released proposals for a new set of plastic items to be phased out in coming years, subject to public consultation. The states join the ACT government who opened a consultation on their second and third tranche of plastics to be banned just weeks ago.white spoon

Included in the list of new items proposed for phase-out are plastics such as thick plastic shopping bags, fruit & vegetable barrier bags, plastic takeaway containers, and plastic cups and lids.

The ACT, QLD and SA are currently the only jurisdictions with plastic bans in effect. WA and NSW have plastic bans coming into effect in 2022.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has described today’s announcement as an essential next step in the war on plastic pollution.

“These were the first states and territories to ban single-use plastics, and today they have shown they intend to continue leading the fight against ocean plastic pollution,” said Shane Cucow, Plastics Campaign Manager at AMCS.

school of fish in water

“Earlier this year, we saw sickening reports of dead and sick baby turtles washing up on Queensland beaches after swallowing plastic.

“With earth safe alternatives now widely available, we have to get rid of hard to recycle plastics such as plastic cups, thick plastic bags, and plastic takeaway containers.

“These laws have been widely popular with Australians, and we are pleased to see governments acting on calls to expand their single-use plastics bans.”

Yet while Queensland, South Australia and the ACT raced to expand their bans on single-use plastics, Mr Cucow said other jurisdictions were yet to act.

“While these states race ahead, Tasmania and the Northern Territory haven’t left the starting gate,” he added.

“Yet they are home to some of our most incredible ocean wildlife, including Australia’s iconic turtles, dugongs and seals.

“Every day they wait, more plastic flows into our oceans and waterways, endangering ocean animals.”

Australian State / Territory Bans on Single-Use Plastics – Items proposed for future phase-out, subject to public consultation

1 July 2022

  • Straws
  • Fruit & vegetable barrier bags
  • Cotton bud sticks
  • Oxo-degradable plastics
Timeline TBC

  • Fruit & vegetable barrier bags
  • Cotton bud sticks
  • Plastic cups and dome lids
  • Takeaway coffee cups and lids
  • Microbeads (in cosmetics)
  • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags
  • Balloon sticks & ties
  • Loose-fill expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging
  • Plastic wrapping on magazines
  • Expanded polystyrene trays (e.g. fruit & meat trays)
  • Bread bag tags
  • Corflute tree guards
  • Oxo-degradable plastics
1 March 2022

  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers
  • Oxo-degradable plastics
1 July 2023

  • Microbeads
  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) products & packaging
  • Plastic takeaway containers
1 March 2023

  • Fruit & vegetable barrier bags
  • Cotton bud sticks
  • Balloon sticks & ties
  • Plastic confetti
  • Plastic pizza savers
1 March 2024

  • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags
  • Plastic cups and lids*
  • Takeaway coffee cups and lids*
  • Plates and bowls*
  • Plastic takeaway containers*
1 March 2025

  • Fruit stickers
  • Expanded polystyrene trays (e.g. fruit & meat trays)
  • All other expanded polystyrene (EPS) consumer containers
  • Pre-packaged & attached products (e.g. plastic straws on juice boxes)
*South Australia may exempt plastic cups, lids and takeaway coffee cups from the ban if they are certified compostable to relevant standards (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2010) and/or are 100% recyclable through widely available services; and feature clear and prominent labelling regarding which bin(s) to place them in.

Edited by: Stephen Morton


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