South Australia has become the country’s first state to officially ban single-use plastics. The legislation was passed in parliament today (Wednesday) in the Marshall Liberal Government’s Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 and will mean that from early 2021, the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers will be prohibited in South Australia. The law does not come into effect until next year, due to the ongoing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has particularly effected the hospitality industry.
“Today is an historic day for South Australia with the passing of legislation to ban certain single-use plastics,” said Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs in a media release. “There has been significant community and industry support for swift action on single-use plastic products with many households and businesses across the state already taking steps to remove them.”
The legislation was initially proposed in July 2019, with the public release of Turning the Tide on Single Use Plastics: The Next Steps, which outlined how the ban would see certain products being banned at first, with a range of other products considered for future intervention, following further consultation.
The legislation includes exceptions for people with a disability or medical requirement.
“Our legislation has been developed with the help of our Single-Use Plastics Taskforce which has representation from 15 different organisations, including people living with a disability,” said Speirs.
“Through this taskforce we’ve developed an approach that balances the benefit to the environment with minimising impact for businesses and accommodating the needs of people living with a disability who might find themselves reliant on certain single-use plastics.”
Credit: Government of South Australia