26 September 2023

ACT’s war on plastic continues

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The next phase of the ACT’s war on plastic takes another effect on 1 July when single use plastic straws, cotton buds with plastic sticks and all oxo-degradable plastics are all to be banned.

According to the Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel, from that date the items cannot be sold or supplied in the ACT in addition to the single-use plastic items already banned which include plastic cutlery and drink stirrers, expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers and plastic bags less than 35 microns in thickness.

Mr Steel thanked the businesses and organisations who had already made the switches to alternative products, saying that are helping make Canberra a more sustainable city.

“Over the past 12 months we have been engaging with a wide range of stakeholders about these bans to ensure the needs of all Canberrans continue to be met as we phase out these products,” Mr Steel said.

“We recognise that single-use plastic straws are a safety and accessibility tool for some Canberrans with a disability. That’s why we’ve created appropriate exemptions for people who still need them.”

He said the plastic straw exemption would mean businesses such as cafés and restaurants for example would be allowed to supply individuals with single-use plastic straws upon request.

“No reason or proof of need is required, but it is also not compulsory for businesses to stock plastic straws,” the Minister said.

He said healthcare entities that provide care or products to people with a disability or healthcare need, are allowed to stock, supply and sell single-use plastic straws.

“Examples of healthcare entities include aged care or disability facilities or pharmacies,” Mr Steel said.

“This next phase of our single use plastics ban will ensure a level playing field by seeing all businesses make the switch to more sustainable alternatives at the same time,” said Minister Steel.

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