The National Retail Association (NRA) has commended the New South Wales Government for passing legislation today to ban certain single-use plastic items, starting with lightweight plastic shopping bags in June 2022. A second stage will follow with single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, bowls and plates, as well as expanded polystyrene foodware, plastic cotton bud sticks and microbeads in personal care products to be phased out by November 2022.

NRA Director of Policy David Stout said that industry supports the ban and, in particular, the highly consultative and staged approach taken by the NSW Government.
We commend Minister Kean and his team for their continued commitment to working with industry, community and the public to deliver environmental outcomes,” said Mr Stout.

“As members of the Expert Reference Group, we have supported the development of this legislation and found the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) to be understanding of the current business environment and challenges.”

“We commend the fact that the NSW Government have staggered the ban considering the crisis retailers have weathered throughout the pandemic, as well as ensuring that the items being banned have safe and viable alternatives.”

“It’s not as simple as switching these items out one day – businesses often order a years’ worth of stock in advance, and they now need time to exhaust those supplies, test alternatives for safety, negotiate new supply chains, train their teams, and educate their customers.”

The NRA has also partnered with the NSW Government to deliver an extensive education and engagement program to help impacted retailers, suppliers, community groups and not-for-profit organisations to prepare and transition.

“We are already working with the government to develop factsheets and posters, as well as preparing for extensive engagement across the state, said Mr Stout.

“We will be visiting over 650 retail shopping centres, malls and strips in metropolitan and regional areas next year, visiting thousands of retailers in their stores to provide resources and information.

“We have also launched a tollfree hotline (1800 844 946) so organisations can get advice suited to their unique situation.”

“In addition, we will be holding online and physical sessions for community organisations, as they too will not be allowed to supply banned items, for example at fundraising events or charity services, so it will be important that all organisations know their obligations.”

Retailers, suppliers, community groups and not-for-profit organisations can contact the NRA for advice on the NSW ban on 1800 844 946 or sustainability@nra.net.au. NSW residents and consumers should contact the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for queries about the ban.