Single-use plastic ban starts in March

Plastic-free transition backs March 1 ban

An educational campaign has been launched in a bid to prepare businesses and the public to meet the March 1 deadline for the ban on single-use plastics in South Australia.

The statewide restriction officially begins March 1, 2021.

In September SA became the first state in the nation to pass legislation to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic products such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers.

The ban responds to single-use plastic products limited in their number of use, often thrown away and usually result in litter and waste, which are harmful to wildlife, including marine life.

Environment and Water Minister David Speirs today launched the Replace the Waste campaign to help businesses and the public learn more about the historic legislation.

The change follows an overwhelming response from the community for urgent action on single-use plastic products after the release of the Turning the Tide discussion paper in 2019.

"Our legislation at first bans single-use plastic items like straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers and will expand to include other items such as polystyrene cups, bowls and plates in early 2022," he said.

A framework of the ban means more items will be added in the future.

He added how the new legislation was developed with the help of the Single-Use Plastics Taskforce represented by 15 different organisations, including people living with disability.

"Through this taskforce we've developed an approach that balances the benefit to the environment while minimising impact for businesses and recognising the needs of people who rely on single-use plastic straws to safely consume beverages and food," he said.

For now, businesses are urged to begin to adapt to the changes by deleting the plastic items from inventories, using up existing stocks, ordering alternatives, having signage in place and training staff.

Direct engagement across metropolitan and regional SA will begin early January to assist South Australians to be ready for the deadline.

A hotline has also been established to help businesses, cafés and restaurants with the transition, with more information available at www.replacethewaste.sa.gov.au.