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Further Single-Use Plastic Bans for NSW

Posted 7 Nov '22

Single-Use Plastic Bans

In addition to the June ban of single-use plastic bags, the NSW Government has banned more single-use items from November 1st, including:

  • Plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls, and cotton buds
  • Food ware and cups made from expanded polystyrene
  • Rinse-off personal care products containing plastic micro beads

 “About 95 per cent of the litter on beaches and waterways comes from suburban streets, and the vast majority of that litter is single-use plastic.” - James Griffin (Minister for Environment).

“The amount of plastic in our oceans is predicted to outweigh the amount of fish by 2050. That is a horrifying prediction and a call to action to ensure our wildlife, like the turtle featured in the campaign, can have a brighter future.” Said James Griffin, Minister for Environment.

The ban is to prevent 2.7 billion plastic litter from getting into the environment for the next 20 as a part of the massive shift away from single-use plastics. The litter accounts for around 60% of all litter in NSW.

This ban is a part of a greater plan – ‘The NSW Plastics Action Plan’ in which highlights several waste management targets:

  • Phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025
  • Reduce the total waste generated in Australia by 10% per person by 2030
  • Achieve an average 80% recovery rate of resources from all waste streams by 2030
  • Significantly increase the use of recycled content by government and industry
  • Reduce plastic litter items by 30% by 2025
  • Reduce the overall litter by 60% by 2030
  • Triple the plastics recycling rate by 2030.

Are there any exemptions?

  • The use of plastic straws due to disabilities or medical issues are exempt of the ban.
  • Plastic lined paper plates and bowls whilst alternative solutions are being sourced. This exemption expires on October 31, 2024.
  • Plastic single use cotton buds and plastic single use bowls for medical, scientific, and forensic purposes.
  • The use of single use plastic cutlery, which is based on a limited time exemption of use under specific situations and environments.

The four long-term outcomes that the NSW Government are aiming for are:

  • Reduce plastic waste generation
  • By reducing the demand for single use plastics, this will severely lower the amount of waste being produced by NSW.
  • Make the most out of our plastic resources
  • Not only can we lower the use of single-use plastics, but we can recycle and find multiple uses for the plastics to additionally lower waste
  • Reduce plastic leakage
  • Because of the lowered plastic waste, this will help provide a cleaner environment for everyone and prevent plastics being release to the ocean.
  • Improve our understanding of the future or plastics
  • To ensure we know the optimal way to produce, use, and recycle plastic


Until January 1 2025, these bans don’t apply to integrated packaging (a part of the machine automated process) such as;

  • Integrated packaging material to seal or contain food or beverages
  • Attached or included material used to seal or contain food or beverages

An example would be spoon sealed within the packaging of a snack pack that has been installed by a machine automated process, or a drink with an integrated straw as apart of the machine automated process.

As controversial as the ban is, we believe it will leave a positive impact on our environment and our capabilities as a community on how to properly recycle, and with government incentives to push companies to innovate and create more optimal solutions.

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