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  • Rikki Lambert

After disposing of green Liberals, SA Labor ditching more single use items

The Malinauskas government won office in March defeating the first-term Marshall Liberal government which sought to make strides in leading the nation on abolishing single-use plastic items.

On Friday Labor acknowledged the success of bans on single-use straws, cutlery and stirrers in 2021, and polystyrene takeaway containers in March 2022 on the eve of the election.

Environment minister Susan Close said the new government is bringing forward plans to decrease the amount of single-use plastic in South Australia:

"With dire predictions that our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050, time’s up for single-use plastic.
"Single use plastics are often used for moments but they last a lifetime in our environment."

South Australia was the first state in Australia to ban single-use plastic bags. Thirteen years on, New South Wales is the last state and is playing catch-up, running an advertising campaign to promote its November ban and announcing on Tuesday it would ban plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds.

The South Australian government claims its acceleration of single-use plastic bans was driven by recent community feedback; however the NSW announcement threatens SA's early mover title.

The SA government claims of over 3,000 people surveyed in a second round of public consultation following the first round of first bans, 97 per cent of respondents said they wanted more action on single-use items like plastic bags and takeaway coffee cups.

Potential exemptions will be considered, as with single-use plastic straws to allow the continued access and supply of these straws for people living with a disability

South Australia's proposed new timetable for bans is:

Banned from 1 September 2023: plastic stemmed cotton buds, plastic pizza savers, single-use plastic plates and bowls.

Banned from 1 September 2024: plastic bags (produce barrier bags and thicker ‘boutique’ style bags), other expanded polystyrene (EPS) consumer food and beverage containers, plastic balloon sticks, plastic balloon ties, plastic confetti, plastic bread tags, single-use plastic cold cups and plastic lids, single-use plastic coffee cups and plastic lids, plastic beverage plugs and single-use plastic food containers.

Banned from 1 September 2025: plastic fruit stickers, plastic soy sauce fish and pre-packaged and attached products such as straws attached to drink containers and spoons and forks attached to pre-packaged food).


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