Plastic straw bans in Australia - everything you need to know!
July 2022: Non-compostable plastic packaging products which do not meet relevant compostable standards will be phased out e.g. home compostable or industrial compostable (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2010 and EN13432)
December 2022: PVC packaging labels and expanded polystyrene (EPS) food and beverage containers will be phased out.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA PLASTIC BAN
The South Australia plastic ban came into affect on 1 March 2021, to be completed 1 March 2022. Products included in the ban:
1 March 2022: A ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) cups, bowls, plates and containers, and all oxo-degradable products.
QUEENSLAND PLASTIC BAN
Queensland plastic ban will be introduced on 1 September 2021. Products included in the ban:
1 September 2021: A ban on plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls, expanded polystyrene (EPS) cups and containers. However Compostable plastics and other packaging items certified Industrially (AS4736) or home (AS5810) compostable are allowed. According to the legislation the equivalent certifications such as TUV Ok home compost are not accepted.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY PLASTIC BAN
Legislation is expected to be passed in March 2021 with a single-use plastics ban introduced on 1 July 2021. Products included in the ban:
1 July 2021: Proposal includes:
- Plastic cutlery, drink stirrers, including PLA bioplastic versions of these items.
- Expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway food and beverage containers. including PLA bioplastic versions of these items.
- 1 July 2022: Proposal includes plastic straws, fruit and vegetable 'barrier bags' and all other plastic products made from degradable plastic. Compostable packaging alternatives are not included in the banned plastics list.
VICTORIA PLASTIC BAN
A single-use plastics ban in Victoria will be introduced in February 2023. Products proposed for the ban:
- February 2023: Proposal includes plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, expanded polystyrene (EPS) food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks. No mention of compostable plastics.
Following up in the rear, we have Western Australia. Legislation is expected to come into affect in 2023. Products currently proposed for the ban:
- 2023: Plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, eps food containers, heavyweight plastic bags, helium balloons. They are currently reviewing position on compostable plastics.
NEW SOUTH WALES
New South Wales are "seeking feedback on the future of plastics in New South Wales and a range of options that will help shape the development of how we manage waste over the next 20 years."
It's incredibly uplifting to see that small choir of voices contesting plastic impacting legislation. However the fact each state has different legislation, makes things incredibly confusing for customers and suppliers.
Furthermore, Australia will have more stringent home compost certification to the rest of the world with an additional earthworm breakdown test which is good for the environment. It will be interesting to see how many bioplastics on the market comply to this new test.