Special Interest

The end of single-use plastic bags STARTS TODAY - 1st June

by Eddy Wednesday June 1st 2022

The end of single-use plastic bags STARTS TODAY - 1st June-single-use-plastic

Businesses use about 50% of Australia's plastic waste, so the NSW bag ban is an excellent way to avoid environmental damage. It takes effect on June 1."

The end of single-use plastic bags

Yes, single-use plastics are cheaper and more convenient but they have a long-lasting, negative impact on the environment. And it can be disastrous to the health of both humans and natural environments. The NSW government has introduced legislation to phase out some of the most littered plastic waste dumped in landfills to dramatically reduce some of the most littered plastic waste dumped in landfills. First on their hit list is plastic bags.

NSW environment minister James Griffin said that NSW plans to ban several plastic products. And the lightweight plastic bag ban was just the beginning.

"I think all of us can see the impact plastic pollution has on our environment, which is why we're making major changes in NSW this year," Griffin said.

"The ban on lightweight single-use bags comes into place from June 1, and then from November, we're banning more problematic plastics, such as cutlery and plates.

"Single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW. By stopping the supply of problematic plastic in the first place, we're helping prevent it from entering our environment as litter or going into landfills," Griffin said.

Time to make the switch

The NSW plastic ban is estimated to cut down on the amount of landfill waste by 2.7 billion items over the next 20 years. Many businesses and households have already taken voluntary action to avoid single-use plastics. Now it's time for small businesses to start following their lead. Major retailers have begun shifting away from single-use plastic items, but most are still using them.

"We each have the power to make a positive environmental change at an individual level, and I encourage everyone to choose to go plastic-free as often as they can," said Griffin.

What else will be banned?

In November, the NSW Government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 and introduced the Plastics Action Plan launch last year. Items on the hot list include:

  • single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
  • expanded polystyrene food ware and cups
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

So-called "compostable" and "bioplastic" alternatives to the above items are also banned. Why? They don't biodegrade unless treated in an industrial composting facility, creating just as much of a problem as conventional plastic.

Also banned are "compostable" and "bioplastic" alternatives. These Biodegradable plastics require industrial composting, creating as many issues as conventional plastic.

Preparing for the single-use plastic ban

The NSW Government will Support businesses to transition by working with businesses and retail associations to help the transition.

The National Retail Association (NRA) has launched a free hotline 1800 844 946, offering businesses, community organisations and consumers advice on single-use plastic bags.

With a retailer education campaign, store visits and online webinars and resources, businesses can adjust away from single-use plastics."

Businesses are asked to stop ordering banned items now.

Businesses can use up existing stock to prepare for the ban, but from June 1, a business can no longer continue to supply single-use plastic – even if you purchased it before those dates.

Make your customers aware of the upcoming ban.

Prepare your staff to answer questions and keep customers informed, including display signage (including translated signage) can be found on this resources page.

Reference: Education on lightweight plastic bag ban the focus for compliance in NSW. https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/news/news/2022/education-on-lightweight-plastic-bag-ban

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