South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics has come into effect today.
First announced in 2019, the ban is the first in Australia. That’s king shit, SA.
While the legislation was passed in September, the ban’s rollout was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Single-use plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers, including bioplastic products, will no longer be available for sale, supply or distribution in South Australia in an effort to reduce waste and harm caused to wildlife by litter and pollution.
From March 2022, polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers, and oxo-degradable plastic products, will also be banned in South Australia. Oxo-degradable plastics break down into microplastics which don’t totally decompose.
There are exemptions in place for people who need to use single-use plastic straws due to disability or health needs.
Public support for the ban is high, and businesses that don’t comply with the new laws may be fined.
SA Environment Minister David Speirs told the SBS that the new legislation has already been positive for the state economy.
“By being a first-mover nationally we’ve already seen businesses who manufacture reuseable and compostable alternatives start to set up in South Australia,” he said.
“Our ban will have significant economic benefits and create local jobs, as well as being good for the environment.”
Liberal Premier Steven Marshall first revealed the policy in July 2019.
“The Marshall Liberal Government will ban a range of single-use plastics in South Australia under proposed legislation to be introduced into State Parliament,” he wrote on Twitter.
“SA has lead the nation in waste management and now we will lead the nation on single-use plastics.”
South Australia were the first state to ban single-use plastic bags at supermarkets in 2009.
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, encompassing federal and state governments and industry, aims to ban “problematic and unnecessary single-use packaging” across the country by 2025.
Two days ago, Victoria announced that it too would ban single-use plastics by the year 2023, becoming the third state to do so, after Queensland in July 2020.
Hobart became the first Australian capital city to ban single-use plastics in March 2019.