Single use plastics ban starts today

The ACT’s single use plastics ban starts today with Canberrans already stepping up to protect our local environment and reduce harmful waste going to landfill.

“With strong support from the Canberra community, we have taken action to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene containers,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

“We know from over 900 face-to-face business visits conducted right across the ACT in recent months that businesses and our local community are keen to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in Canberra.

“Many businesses have already made the switch to sustainable and alternative materials which is fantastic to see.”

The popular Yarralumla Kebab House is one such business which has prepared for the ban by ending their use of polystyrene containers and single-use plastic cutlery. They have now embraced eco-friendly alternatives like sugar-cane pulp containers and bamboo cutlery.

School canteens, local sporting associations and community groups are also making the switch, ensuring Canberrans can access alternatives to single use plastics wherever they go.

“We thank every business which has made already made this switch for their eagerness to make a difference. It’s now important that every Canberran does what they can too, by embracing alternative products when these are provided or avoiding these items altogether if they are not needed.”

In 2022 the ACT Government will seek to phase out a second tranche of single-use plastic items such as straws (except for those that need them), 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.

The ACT is the second Australian jurisdiction to ban harmful single use plastics, following South Australia’s policy which took effect in March.

The ACT is currently working with all states and territories to pursue a coordinated, national approach to progressively phasing out single use plastics.

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