Media Release Plastic Pollution

Marine conservationists welcome national approach of killer plastics phase out

April 19, 2021

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed the announcement by state and territory environment ministers to phase out killer single-use plastics in Australia by 2025.

Eight types of the most dangerous plastic waste for marine wildlife, including plastic cutlery, straws, lightweight plastic bags, polystyrene food containers and consumer good packaging, plastic misleadingly labelled as degradable and microbeads in personal care products, are covered in the phase out.

Darren Kindleysides, CEO of AMCS said: “This is welcome progress on these killer plastics and will help to ease the pressure on our marine wildlife.

“AMCS has been calling for national consistency and agreement on the bans of dangerous single use plastics to give businesses certainty and ease consumer confusion.”

However, the industry targets remain voluntary and Mr Kindleysides said only mandatory national bans on single-use plastics, backed by legislation would help to ensure the ambition of the announcement is met across all jurisdictions.

“We continue to work with environment ministers across all states and territories on the roll out and make up of single-use plastics bans. Progress is being made and every step on the way to ensuring that less seabirds, fish and marine animals die or are injured by plastics in our oceans is welcome.”

Notes to editors

South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics commenced on 1 March 2021, banning plastic cutlery, straws and drink stirrers. Details here.

The Australian Capital Territory’s ban on single-use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers will commence on 1 July 2021. Details here.

Queensland’s ban will begin on 1 September 2021. Their ban will outlaw plastic straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, polystyrene food & beverage containers, and single-use plastic plates and bowls. Details here.

The WA Government has committed to phase out single-use plastic plates, straws, cutlery, drink stirrers, heavyweight plastic bags, polystyrene food containers and helium balloon releases by 2023. Details here.

The Victorian government recently announced they will move to ban angle use plastics by February 2023, including single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks. In correspondence with AMCS, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has confirmed oxo-degradable plastics will also be included in the ban.

The New South Wales Government recently completed public consultations that canvassed the idea of a ban on single-use plastics. They are yet to announce their plans.

Tasmania and the Northern Territory have made no commitments to ban single-use plastics.