ACT, Latest News, News, Waste & Resource Recovery

 Ban on single use plastics gains momentum

The Boomerang Alliance has welcomed the accelerating push across Australia to ban certain single-use polluting plastics with a new law introduced by the ACT Government today. The ban follows the recent South Australian law on these products, with Queensland and Western Australia planning to act next.

There are now four jurisdictions which are banning a range of problem takeaway plastics that include plastic straws, cutlery and food containers (particularly expanded polystyrene). These are amongst the most littered items around the country.

According to Boomerang Alliance director Jeff Angel and the Clean Up Australia National Rubbish Report 2019, plastic takeaway items, including expanded polystyrene products, represent 37 per cent of all litter collected.  “Over 25 tonnes of such plastic items are littered in the ACT every year- many millions of pieces polluting the environment,’’ he said.

Conservation Council ACT Region executive director Helen Oakey also welomed the new laws and their staged introduction.

“Specifically we welcome the July 1, 2021 implementation date set out for the first tranche of products – single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers, which should allow businesses time to restock with more sustainable products.”

“Along with South Australia – QLD and the ACT plan to implement the bans in 2021. NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the NT are yet to announce any definitive plans and we urge them to move quickly,” Angel added.

The Boomerang Alliance has released a NSW Plastics Ban statement calling on the NSW to act on single use plastics and will soon announce a Victorian proposal.

According to a 2019 IPSOS poll, 69 per cent of Australians agree that single-use takeaway plastics should be phased-out as soon as possible.