NSW Parliament has passed the Plastics and Circular Economy Act 2021, which will phase out single-use plastics from June 2022, banning single-use bags, straws, cotton buds, plates, bowls and cutlery.
Local businesses will be supported in their transition to other products before the phase-outs come into effect. Exemptions will apply to people who rely on particular single-use plastics for disability or health needs.
The NSW government has established a legislative framework to tackle harmful and problematic plastics through the setting of design standards.
The first design standard has been set for microbeads in cosmetic and personal care items, ensuring microbeads are phased out from 1 November 2022.
The legislation will prohibit the supply of lightweight plastic bags from 1 June 2022. The supply of other items will be prohibited from 1 November 2022, including single-use plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, cotton buds, plates and bowls and expanded polystyrene food service items.
According to treasurer and Energy and Environment minister, Matt Kean, the NSW government will spend $356 million over the next five years to deliver the NSW Plastics Action Plan and the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041.
“This legislation is expected to stop 2.7 billion single-use items from ending up in our natural environment and waterways over the next 20 years, and is a game-changer in the fight against plastic waste across our state,” Kean said.
Find out more about the plastic reduction legislation here.