Businesses and community organisations have been told to stop supplying a range of single-use plastic items from 1 November 2022 under legislation designed to prevent nearly 2.7 billion plastic items from entering the state’s coastal, marine and bushland environments.
The supply of lightweight plastic bags was banned from 1 June 2022. The ban does not include heavier weight reusable plastic bags, such as those for sale at supermarkets.
From 1 November 2022, the ban is extended to include the supply of:
- Straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls
- Expanded polystyrene food service items including clamshell containers, cups, plates and bowls
- Plastic cotton buds
- Personal care products containing plastic microbeads.
NSW Government says that these products and plastic packaging make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW.
Consumers are encouraged to swap single-use plastic items for reusable and sustainable alternatives to help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfill, as litter or in our environment, like microplastics.
A government release states, “Many of us have already swapped plastic bags for reusable alternatives made of sustainable materials for our weekly grocery shop. That’s a great start but think about how much plastic we could remove from circulation if we used these same bags when shopping for other essentials such as clothes, shoes, or gifts.
“Instead of using plastic cutlery on your next family picnic, why not swap it for alternatives made from a sustainable material or bring a special reusable picnic set from home?
“Swap single-use disposable plastic plates at your school fundraiser for reusable dinnerware which can be put through a dishwasher and used time after time.
A little bit of thought goes a long way when it comes to reducing the amount of plastic waste we generate. By changing our behaviour and the choices we make, we can make a huge collective difference to our environment.”
NSW Government has set up a page for Businesses to guide them on the legislation. It can be accessed here.