This article was first published on Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Tom Oakley-Newell
The Plastics and Circular Economy Act 2021 will see lightweight plastic bags banned across NSW from June 2022, and other single-use plastics prohibited from November 2022.
The single-use items banned from 1 November 2022 include plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cotton buds, plates and bowls, and expanded polystyrene food service items. Exemptions will be granted to those who rely on single-use plastics for disability or health needs.
Paul Zahra, Australian Retail Association (ARA) CEO, said the approach is an ambitious but pragmatic response to the challenge of single-use plastics.
“The NSW Government has a comprehensive and integrated plan for the phase out of single-use plastics which reflects changing community expectations and builds on the solid foundations that have been established in recent years.”
The NSW Government said it will support businesses throughout the transition to other products before the phase-outs come into effect.
Matt Kean, Treasurer and Energy and Environment Minister, said the government will be spending $356 million over the next five years to deliver the NSW Plastics Action Plan and the NSW Waster and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041.
“This legislation is expected to stop 2.7 billion single-use items from ending up in our natural environment and waterways over the next 20 years and is a game-changer in the fight against plastic waste across our state.”
Zahra stated the ARA has been working with governments across the country on the phase-out of single-use plastics, as the nation transitions to a circular economy.
“We are currently supporting the continued phase out of single-use plastics in ACT, SA and WA; we are involved in the design of the incoming container deposit scheme in Victoria; and we are part of a cross-sectorial consortium that has received Federal funding to divert post-consumer clothing and textile waste from landfill.”