NSW single-use plastic bag ban next week

Single-use lightweight plastic bags will be banned in New South Wales next week and a range of other disposable items will follow in a bid to prevent billions of plastic waste items from entering the environment over the next 20 years. years.

Environment Minister James Griffin said the ban, which will take effect June 1, is the first step in a plan to rid the state of many single-use plastic items and packaging that make up 60 % of all waste in New South Wales.

“I think we can all see the impact of plastic pollution on our environment,” Mr Griffin said on Monday.

The ban on single-use lightweight bags comes into force on June 1 and will be followed by a ban on more problematic plastics, such as cutlery and plates from November.

“Single-use plastic is used by many of us for a few convenient minutes, but it stays in our environment for many years, eventually turning into microplastics,” he said.

Stopping the supply of plastic would help prevent it becoming waste or ending up in landfill, he said.

“I encourage everyone to choose to go plastic free as often as possible.”

The New South Wales government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 in November and introduced the Plastics Action Plan last year.

The ban will prevent nearly 2.7 billion pieces of plastic waste from entering the environment in New South Wales over the next 20 years.

From November, the ban will include:

* single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton swabs

* expanded polystyrene dishes and cups

* rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

*So-called “compostable” and “bioplastic” alternatives to the above items that only biodegrade if treated in an industrial composting facility

The government is helping over 40,000 businesses in NSW to phase out single-use plastics.

Bryce K. Locke