The NSW Government is banning certain plastic items in two stages during 2022, with lightweight plastic shopping bags (35 microns or less) to be banned from 1 June.
A lightweight plastic bag is one with handles that is 35 microns or less in thickness at any part of the bag. Lightweight bags made from biodegradable, compostable, or bio-plastics will also be banned in the state, including those made from Australian certified compostable plastic.
However, the ban does not apply to:
- barrier bags such as bin liners, human or animal waste bags
- produce bags and deli bags
- bags used to contain medical items (excluding bags provided by a retailer to a consumer used to transport medical items from the retailer).
From 1 November, more single use plastic items will be banned, including:
- single-use plastic straws and stirrers
- single-use plastic cutlery
- single-use plastic plates and bowls without spill-proof lids
- foodware and cups made from expanded polystyrene (EPS)
- single-use plastic cotton buds
- rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.
Like the assistance provided in other states for their single-use plastics bans, the National Retail Association (NRA) has partnered with the NSW Government to ensure retailers, hospitality, suppliers and community organisations are supported, informed and prepared.
“We have been working closely with the Department of Planning & Environment to relay insight, understand the regulations and develop approved materials,” it said.
Aid will be offered in the form of resources – a Guide for Businesses, in-store signage, and point-of-sale material – that can be downloaded from its website as well as in-person, over the phone and online education sessions for retailers.