Single-use plastic ban coming into place across NSW

Plastics are a huge environmental problem.

NEXT week the NSW Government’s ban on lightweight plastic bags will come into force, with further bans to come later this year.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said, “I think all of us can see the impact plastic pollution is having on our environment, which is why we’re making major changes in NSW this year.

“The ban on lightweight single-use bags comes into place from 1 June, and then from November, we’re banning more problematic plastics such as cutlery and plates.

“Single-use plastic is used by many of us for just a few convenient minutes, but it remains in our environment for many years, eventually breaking into microplastics.

“Single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60 percent of all litter in NSW.

“By stopping the supply of problematic plastic in the first place, we’re helping prevent it from entering our environment as litter, or going into landfill.”

According to the NSW Government the ban will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the environment in NSW over the next 20 years.

The lightweight plastic bag ban will begin on June 1, and from November single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds will be banned.

As will expanded polystyrene food ware and cups, plus rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbes.

This ban will also include ‘compostable’ and ‘bioplastic’ alternatives of the above items, owing to the fact that they don’t biodegrade unless they’re treated in an industrial composting facility.

This creates just as much of a problem as conventional plastic.

A comprehensive retailer education campaign will be run by the National Retail Association (NRA) to support small businesses to be ready for the change.

Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos said, “The NSW Government has worked with stakeholders to support small businesses to understand how they will be affected, how to comply with new laws and what alternatives they can use to single use plastics.

“Through the NRA, we’re running a retailer education campaign, conducting store visits, and providing online webinars and resources to help businesses make the adjustment away from single-use plastics.”

The NRA has a free hotline 1800 844 946 to offer businesses, community organisations and consumers advice on single-use plastics bans.


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