The Plastics Reduction Act 2021 was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly last month.
rom 1 July this year, the ACT will ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic cutlery and single-use plastic stirrers.
It will also become the first jurisdiction in Australia to ban expanded polystyrene containers.
Education activities are being ramped up this week to help up to 700 businesses across 19 of Canberra’s main food and retail hubs prepare for the ban on these harmful plastic items.
“We’ve heard great feedback from the Canberra business community about their support for the first tranche of single-use plastics bans. Like many other Canberrans, local businesses want to do their bit to help reduce waste and make our community more sustainable,” Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel said.
“We’ve been undertaking face-to-face engagement across Canberra’s main food and retail precincts to educate businesses and answer questions from the community.
“Many businesses have already started making the switch to sustainable and alternative materials, which has been fantastic to see.
“It’s important every business takes practical action ahead of 1 July to use up any stocks of single-use plastic items that are subject to the bans, and find sustainable alternatives. Canberra’s shoppers and diners can also help support this switch by embracing these alternative products when they are offered.”
To make sure a broad spectrum of the business community receives the right information, the ACT Government has partnered with the National Retail Association to deliver tailored education for businesses on what the bans will mean for them.
Local business owners who are looking for advice on how they can make the transition to more sustainable products can also call the ACT single-use plastics business hotline on 1800 844 946 for support.
“We have prepared a range of online resources for businesses which are now available on the City Services website. Further resources will be added in the coming weeks as we hear and respond to the information needs of local retailers, restaurants and other businesses who need to take action ahead of the phase out,” Minister Steel said.
In 2022 the ACT Government will seek to phase out a second tranche of single-use plastic items such as straws, barrier bags for fruit and vegetables, and all products made from degradable plastic.
Items such as plastic-lined single-use coffee cups and lids, single-use plastic dinnerware, boutique or heavyweight plastic bags and cotton ear buds with plastic sticks remain under consideration for future phase outs from 2023 onwards with other items to be considered in the future.
The ACT’s plastics bans are being delivered as all Commonwealth, State and Territory Environment Ministers have agreed to pursue the gradual phase out of eight harmful single-use plastic items by 2025.