Australia is on-track to phase out single-use plastics with both NSW and WA announcing new commitments over the past week. The states join Victoria, Queensland and South Australia which have all either moved to ban or already banned single-use plastics.
The NSW Government will gradually eliminate single-use plastics under a new plastics plan and waste strategy set to be legislated later this year. The $356 million five-year plan aims to slash plastic litter by 30 per cent by 2025 and reduce food waste across the state.
“The single-use items we are phasing-out will stop an estimated 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from ending up in our environment and waterways over the next 20 years,” Environment Minister Matt Kean said in a statement.
Lightweight plastic bags, plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, polystyrene cups, takeaway containers, cotton buds and microbeads found in cosmetic products will be the first items to go, with bans coming into effect 6-12 months after the legislation is passed.
The NSW government has also committed to rolling out new green bins for food and organic waste collection at every home in NSW.
“We can't keep sending our scraps to languish in landfill when there are huge opportunities to turn our trash into treasure," Kean said.
"Under our plans, every household will have access to a separate bin for their food and organic waste for the first time in NSW."
Just 24 hours after this news broke, WA announced it will be fast-tracking its single-use plastics bans by four years. The state's Plan for Plastics will be delivered by the end of 2022 instead of 2026 as originally planned.
"We're very determined to phase out as much plastic as we possibly can," WA Premier Mark McGowan said.
Plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery and takeaway polystyrene food containers will be banned in the state by the end of this year. Bans on plastic-lined coffee cups and lids, produce bags and microbeads have also been brought forward to the end of 2022.
"If it can't be reused or recycled it shouldn't be made, and that's what we want to move to in Western Australia," WA Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.