Additional single-use plastic items will be banned in NSW from today as communities and businesses embrace a massive shift away from problematic plastics.
Minister for Environment James Griffin said this is an important step to protect our environment and create a more sustainable future for generations to come.
“Today, we’re delivering long-term change by banning some of the most-littered single-use plastic items, including plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds,” Mr Griffin said.
“We started this journey in 2020, when we received 16,000 submissions in response to the proposed plastics ban, with 98 per cent of them supporting the bans.
“NSW Parliament passed the Plastics Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 last year, and since then, we’ve been helping the community and businesses to prepare for these changes with extensive engagement, education and communication campaigns in multiple languages.
“The feedback is clear – the community is disturbed by the amount of single-use plastic entering our environment, so we’ve listened, taken action, and today we’re asking everyone across the state to stop it and swap it.”
From today, the NSW Government is banning single-use items, including:
- plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
- food ware and cups made from expanded polystyrene
- rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads
This comes after lightweight single-use plastic bags were banned from 1 June.
Single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW, and the single-use plastic bans will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the environment in the State over the next 20 years.
Since February, the National Retail Association (NRA) has, on behalf of the NSW Government, been providing education and support to more than 40,000 businesses and community organisations around the State to implement the changes.
Educational material and in-person advice has also been provided in more than 15 different languages to support business owners and communities with diverse backgrounds.
The NSW Government has partnered with Great Plastic Rescue to collect excess stock from wholesalers, distributors, retailers, businesses and not-for-profits for recycling and remanufacturing into new items.
In September, the NSW Government launched the Stop it and Swap it advertising campaign, featuring shocking images of plastic pollution in the ocean and a turtle choking on a plastic bag, as an important reminder about why the state is banning certain single-use plastics.
Ongoing education and support will continue to ensure businesses and consumers understand what’s banned and what’s not, including exemptions that allow the supply of some items for people with disabilities or for medical reasons.
Extracted from NSW