State-based bans on single use microbeads, plastic straws, cutlery, plates, expanded polystyrene food containers and cotton buds have been changed to a national approach. The state based approach was a headache for suppliers and retailers who operate in more than one state.
The change to national deadlines is better for the environment and much easier for businesses.
According to the National Plastics Plan 2021, Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 (NSW), the timeline currently looks like this:
1 July 2021 – Federal ban – mixed waste plastics exports.
1 June 2022 – NSW ban – lightweight plastic bags.
1 July 2022 – Federal ban – unprocessed single polymer or resin waste plastics exports.
1 November 2022 – NSW ban – single-use plastic bowls, stirrers, straws, cutlery. Expanded polystyrene bowls, cups and plates (excluding meat or produce trays, packaging and items which are part of packaging used to seal or contain food or beverages). Single-use plastic cotton buds and microbeads in certain personal care products.
December 2022 – Federal goal – Phase out PVC packaging labels. Phase out expanded polystyrene in loose fill and moulded consumer packaging, and food service containers.
2023 – Federal goal – 80% supermarket products to display Australasian Recycling Label.
2025 – Federal industry target – 100% packaging is reusable, compostable or recyclable.
It’s a slow change but we are finally heading in the right direction!