South Australia has made history by becoming the first state to outlaw single-use plastics.
Plastic products like straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers will be banned thanks to legislation passed in the South Australian State Parliament on Wednesday.
The laws banning the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastics will come into effect in early 2021, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic.
South Australia has made history by becoming the first state to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastics like straws (pictured) and plastic cutlery
The plastic products will be outlawed in early 2021 to allow coronavirus restrictions to ease and businesses to prepare for the ban (Kangaroos pictured on a beach)
The Single-use and Other Plastic Products Bill (plastic beverage stirrers pictured) passed in the South Australian State Parliament on Wednesday
Environment Minister David Spiers said the Single-use and Other Plastic Products Bill addressed calls from South Australians to ban the products.
‘There has been significant community and industry support for swift action on single-use plastic products with many households and businesses across the state already taking steps to remove them,’ he explained.
The minister said products would be progressively banned and start with plastic straws and cutlery before moving on to larger items like takeaway containers.
‘Our legislation at first bans single-use plastic items like straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers and outlines a framework for adding more items in the future,’ he said.
‘However, with COVID-19 restrictions still impacting on society and in particular the hospitality industry, we will delay the commencement of the legislation.’
Mr Spiers said the delayed start would consider both the needs of the public and local businesses.
‘This will give businesses time to bounce back and properly prepare before the ban comes into effect in early 2021.
The new legislation will ban plastic items progressively and target smaller items like cutlery and straws before moving on to takeaway containers and bottles (plastic bottles pictured)
‘This approach strikes an appropriate balance between the public’s desire for change and the needs of businesses,’ he explained.
The minister also said South Australia has led the nation in terms of introducing positive laws for the environment.
‘We were the first state in Australia to introduce deposits on containers, the first state in Australia to ban lightweight plastic bags and we’re now the first state to pass legislation banning single-use plastics.’
The container deposit scheme was introduced in 1977 and the state banned plastic bags in 2009.
A number of venues across Adelaide have already gone plastic-free including Adelaide Airport, Flinders Medical Centre and Sturt Football Club.
South Australia was the first state to ban plastic bags (plastic cutlery pictured) in 2009