Single-Use Plastic Bans Across Australia - What Do They Mean For Your Business?

Single-Use Plastic Bans Across Australia - What Do They Mean For Your Business?

Understand which single-use items can be used in your state under the new legislation. 

If you’re a cafe owner in Australia right now, you might be scratching your head trying to sift through the rapidly changing information about which single-use plastic items can and cannot be used in your State or Territory. 

Why are these changes happening?

Plastic pollution is harmful to people, animals and the planet, and single-use plastic items make up half of all plastic waste globally.

At Little Green Panda, we support plastic bans for a sustainable future. As an eco-business, we live and breathe this information and, as such are well-placed to update you on these changes.

This article outlines the recent and upcoming Australian bans on single-use plastics by State and Territory. 

For the purpose of this article, the definition of bioplastic is: 

What is bioplastic - a definition

Queensland - single-use plastic ban details

From 1 September 2021, the following single-use plastic items will be prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in Queensland:

Prohibited:

  • Straws: regular, flexible, scoop, cocktail and bubble tea straws
  • Cutlery: knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons, sample tasting spoons, soup spoons, chopsticks, splayds and sporks
  • Bowls and plates
  • Stirrers: hot or cold drink stirrers, swizzle sticks and hot or cold food stirrers
  • Expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups (e.g. clamshell containers).

Exemptions:

  • Single-use plastic straws and cutlery can only continue to be used when attached to a shelf-packaged product (e.g. a juice box with an attached single-use plastic straw).
  • Some businesses may receive an exemption. A list of exempt business types is available here.

What can I use? Where it is necessary to use these items, choose from:

Straws:

  • Single-use paper, bamboo, straw, or compostable plastic straws
  • Edible and reusable straws made from bamboo, stainless steel, glass and silicone

Cutlery:

  • Stainless steel, reusable plastic and bamboo cutlery

Bowls and plates:

  • Made from paper, reusable plastic, metal or crockery

Drink stirrers:

  • Wooden paddle pop sticks, stainless steel teaspoons, glass swizzle sticks

Food and beverage containers:

  • Paper, cardboard or compostable plastic.

Please note: Compostable plastics and other packaging items certified industrially (AS4736) or home (AS5810) compostable are allowed.

Need permitted straws? The Little Green Panda range of plant-based straws are allowed to be sold, supplied and distributed in QLD. Our straws are 100% plastic free, 12 hour+ water resistant, soggy free (unlike paper straws).

 

South Australia - single-use plastic ban details

From 1 March 2021, the following three items have been prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in South Australia:

1. Single-use plastic straws (including bioplastic straws)

    Prohibited: Any single-use straw made from plastic (including bioplastic), used to consume beverages.

    Examples: regular, flexible, scoop, cocktail and bubble tea straws

    What can I use?

    • Single-use paper, bamboo, straw, or compostable straws made without PLA, PHA and PBS materials.
    • Edible and reusable straws made from bamboo, stainless steel, glass and silicone.

    Need permitted straws? The Little Green Panda range of plant-based straws are allowed to be sold, supplied and distributed in SA. Our straws are 100% plastic free, 12 hour+ water resistant, soggy free (unlike paper straws).

    2. Single-use plastic cutlery (including bioplastic cutlery)

    Prohibited: Any single-use utensil made from plastic (including bioplastic) that can be used to eat food. 

    Examples: spoons, forks, knives, sporks, splayds, and chopsticks, straws.

    What can I use? Where it is necessary to use single-use items, choose from available wood and bamboo alternatives.

    3. Single-use plastic stirrers (including bioplastic stirrers)

    Prohibited: Any single-use stirrer made from plastic or bioplastic.

    Examples: Hot or cold drink stirrers, swizzle sticks and hot or cold food stirrers.

    What can I use? Where it is necessary to use single-use items, choose from available wood and bamboo alternatives.

    Australian Capital Territory - single-use plastic ban details

    From 1 July 2021, the following three items will be prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in the ACT:

    1. Single-use plastic cutlery (including bioplastic cutlery)

    Prohibited: Any single-use utensil made from plastic or bioplastic that can be used to eat food. (Bioplastic straws are allowed)

    Examples: spoons, forks, knives, sporks, splayds, chopsticks, and plastic straws.

    Exemption: Soup-style spoons (laksa spoons) will be exempt as there is no available alternative.

    What can I use? Where it is necessary to use single-use items, choose from available wood and bamboo alternatives.

    Need permitted straws? The Little Green Panda range of plant-based straws are allowed to be sold, supplied and distributed in the ACT. Our straws are 100% plastic free, 12 hour+ water resistant, soggy free (unlike paper straws). 

    2. Single-use plastic stirrers (including bioplastic stirrers)

    Prohibited: Any single-use stirrer made from plastic or bioplastic.

    Examples: Hot or cold drink stirrers, swizzle sticks and hot or cold food stirrers.

    What can I use? Where it is necessary to use single-use items, choose from available wood and bamboo alternatives.

    3. Expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers (polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic is allowed).

    Prohibited: Single-use takeaway food and beverage containers made from expanded polystyrene.

    Examples: Foam and styrofoam clamshell containers.

    What can I use? Food and beverage containers made from paper, cardboard, bamboo, sugarcane, bagasse, aluminium foil, or compostable bioplastic products. 

    Please note: Whilst plastic and bioplastic containers are still permitted, they are not widely available and not preferable for the environment. 

    New South Wales - single-use plastic ban details

    As of June 2021, the NSW Government is set to unveil ambitious plans to drastically cut the amount of plastic and food scraps that end up in landfill by 2025.

    This will include:

    • Single-use plastic: Straws, stirrers, cotton buds and polystyrene cups will be phased out 12 months after legislation is passed.
    • Plastic cups, heavy bags and fruit stickers to be carried out within three years.

    Northern Territory - single-use plastic ban details

    As of April 2021, there are no current commitments in place to ban single-use plastics in the Northern Territory.

    Tasmania - single-use plastic ban details

    As of April 2021, there are no current commitments in place to ban single-use plastics in Tasmania.

    Victoria - single-use plastic ban details

    From February 2023, single-use plastics will be banned from sale or supply across Victoria.

    This will include:

    • Single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers
    • Expanded polystyrene food and drink containers
    • Cotton bud sticks
    • And includes oxo-degradable plastic items.

    Stay informed via: https://www.vic.gov.au/single-use-plastics 

    Western Australia - single-use plastic ban details

    By 2022, Western Australia will be phasing out single-use plastic. By December 2021, these items will be banned:

    • Plates
    • Cutlery
    • Stirrers
    • Straws
    • Thick plastic bags
    • Polystyrene food containers
    • Helium balloon releases.

    Need permitted straws? The Little Green Panda range of plant-based straws are allowed to be sold, supplied and distributed across Australia. Our straws are 100% plastic free, 12 hour+ water resistant, soggy free (unlike paper straws).

    Australia - a national response 

    By July 2022, non-compostable plastic packaging products will be phased out across Australia where they don’t meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2010 and EN13432).

    Looking for straws that comply with the new legislation?

    Little Green Panda  has you covered! For straw-ban approved straws that won’t go soggy on you check out our range of straws or request free samples.

    Where to from here?

    To find out more, contact us today.

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