This article first appeared on Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Tom Oakley-Newell
From 1 November, single-use plastics such as plastic cutlery, food ware, straws, cotton buds, and cups are banned in NSW.
The Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has been working closely with the National Retail Association’s (NRA) Sustainability Committee on single-use plastic legislative changes in all states to help businesses prepare for the changes.
“We have held exclusive member information sessions over many months to keep members updated, answered any specific technical questions as well as provided members with the option of digital or printed POS for retail members to utilise in store. Additionally, all the changes have been included in an information pack to help educate staff,” said Theo Foukkare, CEO of AACS.
Since February, the NRA has on behalf of the NSW Government, been providing free education and support to retailers, suppliers, and community organisations to implement the changes.
David Stout, Director of Policy at the NRA, said they have physically visited over 13,000 stores in over 800 retails centres, precincts, and malls across the state to help prepare them for the changes.
“While it’s impossible to educate every single business personally, the NSW Government has rolled out one of the biggest support programs ever seen.”
Daniel Baker, Corporate Responsibility Director at ALDI Australia, said finding sustainable alternatives for packaging has always been important at ALDI.
“We agree the business plays a critical role in developing a circular economy and in turn, reducing plastic waste, ALDI has a commitment to a 25 per cent reduction of plastic packaging by 2025, and we are well on our way to achieving this.
“ALDI recognises the negative environmental impact of single-use plastics, which is precisely why we’ve never provided free-of-charge plastic carrier bags and made the decision to remove all single-use plastic tableware from our shelves in 2020. We were the first major Australian supermarket to replace plastic straws with paper straws on juice boxes.”
By NSW implementing the changes, it will prevent nearly 2.7 billion plastic items from polluting the NSW environment over the next 20 years.
More information regarding the changes, including translated brochures and posters, and information about suitable alternatives, can be found here.