In what would be an Australian first, the Marshall Liberal Government will ban a range of single-use plastics in South Australia under proposed legislation to be introduced into State Parliament.
Today’s public release of Turning the Tide on Single Use Plastics: The Next Steps outlines how the ban would see certain products including plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers being banned at first.
A range of other products will be considered for future intervention following further consultation.
To help inform the development of the legislation, a stakeholder taskforce will be established comprising representatives of selected business, industry, local government and interest groups to ensure that impacts are mitigated and appropriate time is given for transition.
The banning of single-use plastic products will also be piloted through voluntary business/retailer led ‘plastic-free precincts’, which will identify opportunities and challenges associated with transitioning away from single-use plastic products and inform the legislation.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said a discussion paper earlier this year received strong feedback from South Australians keen to see action on single-use plastics.
“It is clear from the more than 3,500 submissions that there is significant community and industry support for increased measures to address a range of single-use plastic products and other items,” said Minister Speirs.
“Nearly 99 per cent of respondents recognised the environmental problems associated with single use plastics and nearly 97 per cent supported government intervention.
“The community has called for swift action on single-use plastic products.
“In light of this overwhelming community support, the Marshall Liberal Government has developed a plan to ban single-use plastic products and other single-use items.
“At first, we will look at products including plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers with items such as takeaway polystyrene containers and cups next.
“Further consideration would be needed when looking at takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags and other takeaway food service items following consultation.
“We will release draft legislation for further public consultation later this year with the intention to introduce it to the Parliament in 2020.
“I encourage industry stakeholders to register their interest for the stakeholder taskforce.
“Social and corporate action is already underway on some of these items, and there are readily availability alternatives.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to working with the community and stakeholders to address the impacts of single-use plastic products in South Australia and to ensure that we continue to maintain this state’s reputation as a leader in waste management.”