Thanks to incredible momentum inspired by ocean lovers, six out of eight Australian states and territories have committed to ban single-use plastics.
Yet with each jurisdiction committing to ban different plastics, you might be wondering which state is leading the race to ban single-use plastics in Australia.
See which plastics each state has committed to ban, by when, in the report card below.
South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics commenced on 1 March 2021, banning single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cutlery. On 1 March 2022, polystyrene food & beverage containers as well as oxo-degradable plastics will be added to the ban. Details here.
The ACT Government’s ban on single-use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers commenced 1 July 2021, with straws, fruit & veggie barrier bags and degradable plastics on the list to be phased out on 1 July 2022 following further consultation. Details here.
The Queensland Government’s ban on single-use plastics commenced on 1 September 2021, banning single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and polystyrene food & beverage containers. Details here.
The Western Australia Government has committed to ban plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws, thick plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, and helium balloon releases by 2022. In stage two, now to be completed by 2023, takeaway coffee cups/lids containing plastic, plastic barrier/produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics will be banned. Details here.
Victoria‘s government has committed to ban single-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. Details here.
The New South Wales Government has committed to ban single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, expanded polystyrene food service items, plastic cotton bud sticks, and microbeads in cosmetics, expected to commence in 2022 if laws pass this year. Details here.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory have made no commitments to ban single-use plastics.
Australia’s National Packaging Targets set a goal to phase out problematic single-use plastics by 2025.
At a meeting of federal, state and territory environment ministers on 15 April 2021, Ministers identified eight ‘problematic and unnecessary’ plastic product types for industry to phase out nationally by 2025 (or sooner in some cases) under the National Waste Policy Action Plan, although this is understood to be a voluntary target. These are lightweight plastic bags; plastic products misleadingly termed as ‘degradable’; plastic straws; plastic utensils and stirrers; expanded polystyrene (EPS) consumer food containers (e.g. cups and clamshells); EPS consumer goods packaging (loose fill and moulded); and microbeads in personal health care products. Details here.
Under the National Plastics Plan, the Commonwealth Government has committed to phase out loose fill and moulded polystyrene packaging by July 2022, as well as expanded polystyrene foodware, oxo-degradable plastics, and PVC packaging labels by December 2022.