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SINGLE-USE PROBLEMATIC PLASTICS IN NEW SOUTH WALES

New South Wales Legislation Explained

On 13 June 2021, the New South Wales Government announced their commitment to address single-use plastics. Bans against specific items form part of the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 and the NSW Plastics Action Plan 2021.

In-line with the state's action plan, on 16 November 2021, the NSW Government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Bill 2021, resulting in enforcement of bans against selected single-use plastics. Product phase outs will occur in two stages, beginning from June 2022.

Key Dates

1 June 2022

Phase one of the ban will come into force from 1 June 2022, banning the supply of lightweight plastic bags. 

Under legislation, a lightweight plastic bag is one with handles that is 35 microns or less in thickness at any part of the bag [1].

The ban includes lightweight plastic bags made from biodegradable, compostable or bioplastics, including those made from Australian certified compostable plastic. 

The ban does not include [2]:

  • Barrier bags such as bin liners, human or animal waste bags
  • Produce and deli bags
  • Bags used to contain medical items (excluding those provided by a retailer to a customer to transport medical items from the store)

 

Person picking up plastic waste on the beach.
Detpak endura food tray filled with salad and pictured with a wooden fork, by the beach.

1 November 2022

Phase two will become effective from 1 November 2022 and will include a ban against the following single-use plastic products:

  • Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery including those made from biodegradable, compostable or bio-plastics. This includes items made from Australian certified compostable plastic
  • Single-use plastic bowls and plates including those those made from biodegradable, compostable or bio-plastics. This includes items made from Australian certified compostable plastic
  • Expanded polysytrene (EPS) takeaway food service items including clamshells, cups, plates and bowls
  • Single-use plastic cotton buds and rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads

Exemption

Exemptions will apply to ensure continued access to single-use plastics straws for people with a disability or medical need. 

Additonally, the ban does not apply to [3]:

  • Serving utensils - e.g. salad servers or tongs
  • Items forming an integrated part of the packaging used to seal or contain food or drinks, or are included within or attached to that packaging, through an automated process - e.g. a straw attached to a juice box
  • Single-use plastic bowls designed or intended to have a spill-proof lid - e.g. those used for a takeaway soup
  • EPS meat or produce trays
  • EPS packaging, including consumer and business-to-business packaging and transport containers
  • EPS food service items forming an integrated part of the packaging used to seal or contain food or drinks, or are included within or attached to that packaging, through an automated process - e.g. EPS noodle cup
Hand filled with colourful plastic straws pictured at the beach.

Enforcement & Penalties

The primary environmental regulator for NSW is the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

For more information the full Plastics Action Plan 2021 is available, here.

The full NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 is available, here. 

 

Head back to the Single-use Problematic Plastics in Australia home page, here

Contact us about moving to Towards 2025 compliant packaging, here.

Browse our range of sustainable legislative compliant packaging, here.

 

References
[1] https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/our-work/environment-energy-and-science/plastics-action-plan/phasing-out-single-use-plastics-in-nsw

Your Compliant Options

WOODEN CUTLERY PACK

Item: Y707S0350

Price on enquiry^ / Carton (400)

#75 FLAT HANDLE BAG

Item: C167S0010A

Price on enquiry^ / Carton (250)

8mm WRAPPED ENDURA PAPER STRAW

Item: Y448S0001

Price on enquiry^ / Carton (6,000)

7 INCH PLATE

Item: N144S0001

Price on enquiry^ / Carton (1,000)

Looking for packaging compliant with current legislation?

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