26 September 2023

Plastic to wear out its welcome in 2021

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Legislation to ban single-us plastics has been introduced into the Legislative Assembly in an effort to protect Canberra’s natural environment and build a circular economy.

Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel said the legislation would come into effect from July 2021, with the first tranche of single-use plastic bans to include cutlery, drink stirrers and expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers.

“The objective of this legislation is to reduce Canberrans’ use of plastic and reduce the impact that plastic has on our environment and our waste management and resource recovery systems,” Mr Steel said.

“Under the legislation, from July 2021, it will be an offence to supply a prohibited plastic product, with penalties of up to 50 penalty units and infringement notices available,” he said.

“It will not be an offence to supply a prohibited plastic product in a non-business setting, for example, from a parent to a child at a picnic.”

Mr Steel said as well as the initial banning of priority products the legislation would enable additional plastic products to be banned in future regulation.

“In 2022 we will expand the phase out to items such as straws, barrier bags for fruit and ­­vegetables, as well as all products made from oxo-degradable plastic,” the Minister said.

“However, we will provide exemptions so that people with a disability who need to use straws will still be able to access and use them,” he said.

Mr Steel said items such as plastic-lined single-use coffee cups and lids, single-use plastic dinnerware, boutique or heavyweight plastic bags, and cotton ear buds with plastic sticks were being considered for future phase outs from 2023 onwards.

He said the legislation would make the ACT the first Government in Australia to declare public events as single-use plastic-free.

More information about the single use plans can be accessed at this PS News link.

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