SA commences historic ban on single-use plastic

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South Australia has banned single-use plastic products in a historic move that could radicalize the way plastic is regulated throughout Australia.

“South Australia is yet again leading the nation when it comes to environmental issues with the Marshall Liberal Government’s historic ban on single-use plastics,” said Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs, who visited Bond and Lane Canteen in Colonel Light Gardens to kickstart the ban.

The move, which was passed in Parliament last year, marks the first single-use plastic ban throughout Australia.

Single-use plastic products such as drinking, straws, stirrers will be prohibited from sale, supply or distribution across the state starting today.

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“By being a first mover nationally we’ve already seen businesses who manufacture re-useable and compostable alternatives start to set up in South Australia, which means our single-use plastic ban will have significant economic benefits and create local jobs, as well as being good for the environment,” Minister Speirs said.

The Minister added the ban will expand to polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clam-shell containers, and oxo-degradable plastic products in a year.

Takeaway food service items such as takeaway coffee cups and plastic barrier bags are also up for consideration as sustainable alternatives become more available.

Bioplastics that can be labelled compostable (e.g., Polylactic Acid or PLA) are also banned as they can only be composted under strict industrial conditions.

“We are protecting our environment for future generations, reducing marine and other litter, and promoting the circular economy with a shift away from a single-use, throwaway mindset.”

However, exemptions for single-use plastic drinking straws are in place for people who require them due to a disability or health need. Businesses may opt to stock and supply the straws for those in need.

The legislation also does not prohibit South Australians from bringing their own plastic products to cafes.

For more information visit www.replacethewaste.sa.gov.au

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