Last drinks for plastic straws with next tranche of ACT single use plastics ban

The ACT Government is making it simple and easy for Canberrans to cut waste, with the next phase of our single use plastics ban coming into effect on 1 July 2022.

From this date, the following items cannot be sold or supplied in the ACT:

  • single-use plastic straws (with an exemption for those who need them)
  • cotton buds with plastic sticks
  • all oxo-degradable plastics.

These are in addition to the single-use plastics items already banned in the ACT since 2021: single-use plastic cutlery and drink stirrers, expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers and plastic bags that are less than 35 microns in thickness.

“We would like to thank businesses and organisations who have already made this switch for embracing alternative products and helping make Canberra a more sustainable city,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

“Over the past 12 months we have been engaging with a wide range of stakeholders about these bans to ensure the needs of all Canberrans continue to be met as we phase out these products.

“We recognise that single-use plastic straws are a safety and accessibility tool for some Canberrans with a disability. That’s why we’ve created appropriate exemptions for people who still need them.”

The plastic straw exemption means:

  • Businesses – such as cafés and restaurants – are allowed to supply individuals with single-use plastic straws upon request. No reason or proof of need is required, but it is also not compulsory for businesses to stock plastic straws
  • Healthcare entities that provide care or products to people with a disability or healthcare need are allowed to stock, supply and sell single-use plastic straws. Examples of healthcare entities include aged care or disability facilities or pharmacies.

The ACT Government is working with local and national partners to ensure local businesses and organisations are aware of the upcoming ban.

“This next phase of our single use plastics ban will ensure a level playing field by seeing all businesses make the switch to more sustainable alternatives at the same time,” said Minister Steel.

Attribute to Director of Policy David Stout, National Retailers Association

“Retailers are eager to comply and we will continue to work with government to seek clarity for businesses,” Mr Stout said.

“We are visiting retail shopping centres, malls and strips across the ACT, visiting over 800 retailers in their stores to provide resources and information.

“Businesses are also encouraged to contact our tollfree hotline 1800 844 946 to speak to our team of plastic ban specialists.”

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