26 September 2023

Plastic bans to wear out more welcomes

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More than 120 million plastic straws have been taken off the shelves in the first six months of the State’s historic single-use plastic ban according to the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) which has urged businesses to prepare for the next round of bans.

Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs said South Australia became the first State in the country to ban plastic drinking straws, stirrers and cutlery from sale, supply or distribution in March this year and further bans would come into effect on 1 March 2022.

Mr Speirs said expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clam-shell containers as well as oxo-degradable plastic products would be included in the next round of bans.

“We will continue to consider more products such as takeaway coffee cups and other takeaway food service items as market demand increases and other sustainable alternatives become available,” Mr Speirs said.

He said the current bans had led to a significant waste reduction, with around 700,000 plastic straws previously consumed daily.

“In the first six months of the ban it is estimated that more than 120 million plastic straws have been removed from distribution,” he said.

The Minister said legislation had been developed with the help of the Single-Use Plastics Taskforce which had representation from 15 different organisations, including people living with a disability.

Mr Speirs said members of the community could still bring their own straws to cafes and any business could choose to supply individual single-use plastic drinking straws on request, due to disability or medical needs.

He said prescribed businesses were able to sell and supply packs of straws for these purposes, including pharmacies; Local Government offices; charities; and medical, dental and care facilities.

Further information on the upcoming single-use plastic bans can be accessed on the Replace the Waste website at this PS News link.

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