Media Release Plastic Pollution

South Australia raises bar in fight against single-use plastic

November 4, 2022
  • SA will have banned more single-use plastics than any other jurisdiction by 2024
  • Tasmania has deferred consideration of a ban on single-use plastics until 2025
  • NSW single-use plastics ban commenced this week

Australia’s leading ocean conservation organisation the Australian Marine Conservation Society has welcomed news that South Australia will be expanding its ban on single-use plastics, saying it would make the state Australia’s leader in the race to stop ocean plastic pollution.

Under the new timetable announced by SA’s Deputy Premier Dr Susan Close today, the Malinauskas Government will ban single-use plastic cotton bud sticks, pizza savers and plates and bowls in 2023, followed by a range of plastics including thick plastic bags, plastic cups and lids, plastic lined coffee cups, and plastic takeout containers in 2024.

In addition, the state will be the first to phase out a variety of other unrecyclable plastics such as plastic soy sauce fish, plastic fruit stickers, confetti, bread tags, and plastic balloon sticks and ties.

AMCS Plastics Campaign Manager Shane Cucow praised the roadmap as the kind of ambition Australia needs to end ocean plastic pollution.

“With today’s announcement, South Australia is on track to lead the way in the race to end ocean plastic pollution,” he said

“Every year, over 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic pollution globally, including many of Australia’s beloved whales and turtles.

“Yet plastic pollution is increasing, and we are on track to see plastic pollution of our oceans triple by 2040. If we don’t rapidly reduce plastic use across the board, there will be more plastic than fish in our seas by 2050.

“South Australia recycles more of its plastic packaging than any other state and territory in Australia, but it is still only recovering 35 per cent. We will never be able to solve the problem with recycling alone.

“By eliminating unrecyclable, highly littered plastics like soy sauce fish, confetti, bread tags and takeaway coffee cups that contain plastic, we can stop a large portion of the plastics entering our oceans every day and bring plastic use down to levels that can safely be managed.

While South Australia is setting its sights high, some other jurisdictions have yet to act.

“We’re disappointed to see Tasmania has deferred consideration of a statewide ban on single-use plastics until 2025, failing to act quickly on the single-use plastics that are killing our wildlife.

“We call on the Tasmanian Government to bring forward vital action to stem the plastic that is polluting our wild southern waters.”


South Australia’s timetable for expanding the ban on single-use plastics

Banned from September 1, 2023: plastic-stemmed cotton buds, plastic pizza savers, single-use plastic plates and bowls.

Banned from September 1, 2024: plastic bags (produce barrier bags and thicker ‘boutique’ style bags), other expanded polystyrene (EPS) consumer food and beverage containers, plastic balloon sticks, plastic balloon ties, plastic confetti, plastic bread tags, single-use plastic cold cups and plastic lids, single-use plastic coffee cups and plastic lids, plastic beverage plugs and single-use plastic food containers.

Banned from 1 September 2025: plastic fruit stickers, plastic soy sauce fish and pre-packaged and attached products such as straws attached to drink containers and spoons and forks attached to pre-packaged food.