South Australia is leading the way to introduce the first state-wide ban on single-use plastics in Australia. Receiving 3,500 responses to the Turning the Tide discussion paper, an overwhelming majority were in favour of government taking the lead to increase measures to address a range of single-use plastic products and other items.

A draft legislation should be out for consultation as early as late-2019 and introduced to Parliament in 2020.

Plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers have been identified to be phased-out immediately following the commencement of the legislation as these items have readily available alternatives. Takeaway expanded polystyrene cups, food and beverage containers and all products made of oxo-degradable plastic will be phased out after 12 months. Further consideration will be made regarding takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags and other takeaway food service items.

Plastic-free precincts will be piloted throughout metropolitan Adelaide and will engage an expert organisation to develop, implement and manage the program. The program aims to identity opportunities and challenges associated with transitioning away from single-use plastic products and will focus on;

  • Plastic drinking straws
  • Single-use coffee cups
  • Plastic beverage containers
  • Plastic bags (all types)
  • Take-away plastic serving ware (cutlery etc.)
  • Take-away polystyrene food packaging

The South Australian Government is also establishing a stakeholder taskforce to inform the development of the legislation. This working group consists of representatives of selected business, industry, local government and interest groups to ensure impacts are addressed and sufficient transition time is given.

The National Retail Association has registered for the working group and will keep retailers abreast of developments.