Media Release Plastic Pollution

Oceans safer with SA plastics ban starting today

March 1, 2021

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) has welcomed the beginning of South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics today, saying the ban will save the lives of iconic ocean wildlife like whales and dolphins.

Starting today single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cutlery will be banned.

Next year on 1 March 2022, oxo-degradable plastic products, as well as expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers will also be outlawed.

Today South Australia has officially become the first State or Territory in Australia to ban plastic drinking straws or cutlery.

Shane Cucow, plastics spokesperson for the AMCS, welcomed the Marshall government’s action and urged other states to act with haste.

“Today’s ban on plastic means the end of lethal plastic straws and cutlery flowing into South Australia’s waterways and oceans.

“We thank the Marshall government for responding to ocean lovers, who have been speaking up for years about the deadly plastic scourge killing countless seabirds, dolphins and whales.

“The sharp pieces of these products can cause serious internal injuries or poisoning if eaten. They can get stuck in airways or cause life-threatening blockages.

“With safe, earth friendly alternatives now available, it’s time to ditch these killer plastics across all of Australia.

“Our oceans know no borders, we need nation-wide action to truly stem the flow of plastic into our oceans.

“We call on all States and Territories to follow SA’s lead and pass their own laws banning single use plastics. As custodians of the most beautiful and diverse oceans on the planet, together we can be a global leader in the fight against plastic.”

Mr Cucow also stressed that this was not the end of the road for South Australia.

“We have a lot of work left to do to clean up our oceans. We urge the Marshall Government to match the ambition of states like Western Australia, who have also committed to ban plastics such as heavyweight plastic bags, cotton buds, fruit & veggie bags and helium balloon releases in coming years.

Notes to editors

On Saturday, the Victorian Government announced they will move to implement a ban on single-use plastics by 2023, which will include single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks. Details here.

Queensland’s Parliament is currently considering a bill to ban single-use plastic straws, cutlery, drink-stirrers and disposable plastic plates/bowls. Details here.

The ACT Parliament is currently considering a bill to ban single-use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers, with the Government indicating it would commence 1 July 2021. See Government Release 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 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.