Single-use plastic is being phased out in the ACT, with an exposure draft of the Plastic Reduction Bill released in August 2020.
So as not to impose extra regulations on industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the first tranche of products to be phased out (originally planned for early 2020) will now occur no earlier than July 2021, with the legislation to be introduced towards the end of 2020. The exact date of introduction will depend on the pandemic situation, in order to avoid undue pressure on local business.
In 2021, the ACT Government expects to phase out three key plastic items including:
- single-use plastic cutlery
- single-use plastic stirrers
- single-use expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers.
In the community consultation held last year, these items had the greatest levels of community support. While the Bill is focused on reduction and not substitution, these items also have readily available and well understood alternatives for circumstances where they cannot be avoided.
Straws, single-use plastic fruit and vegetable ‘barrier bags’ and oxo-degradable plastic products will be phased out 12 months after the initial regulatory ban. Oxo-degradable plastic products are conventional plastics which include additives to accelerate the fragmentation of the material into very small pieces, triggered by UV radiation or heat exposure, and eventually end up as microplastics.
The ACT Government has consulted extensively on our phase out of single-use plastics and will continue to work closely with the community, local businesses and organisations during the implementation of the phase out, and will consider exemptions that may need to be in place should single-use plastic alternatives be unsuitable for some community members, such as people with a disability.
Visit the for more information on the discussion paper and the consultation process.