SA was the first state in Australia to introduce deposits on containers, ban lightweight plastic bags, and now SA has become the first state to ban single-use plastics, under the recently passed Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020.
The legislation first bans both the supply and distribution of single-use plastics, including plastic straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers, and also outlines a framework to add more items in the future. However due to the impact of COVID-19, we will not see the legislation come into effect until 2021.
This has been labelled as a "historic day" for South Australia, with the Minister for Environment and Water, Davide Speirs, noting that there has been significant community and industry support towards the ban on single-use plastics with many households and businesses already taking steps to reduce their use of such items.
Once this is implemented, the next on the State Government's list is to further analyse and consider a ban on takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags and other takeaway food service items, in order to make South Australia a world leader in banning single-use plastics.
There are a variety of quick and easy, yet impacting, ways you can make your office or site compliant to these new laws and legislation:
Initiate a company-wide ban on single-use plastics
Your workplace kitchen is a great place to start in reducing single-use plastics. Consider replacing single-use cups, plates, coffee cups and cutlery with reusable alternatives such as ceramic mugs, stainless steel cutlery and glass cups or provide compostable packaging as an option.
Avoid cling wrap and place your food in a reusable container.
Avoid buying plastic bin liners and replace them with a certified compostable bin liners.
Carry around a reusable drink bottle, Keep Cup, straws and/or cutlery
Consider offering compostable packaging solutions such as BioPak
Work with environmentally-friendly vendors and suppliers
Educate yourself and others on the importance of going plastic-free - AGC can assist with this and provide information sessions to community groups and staff.
At AGC we strongly advocate the removal of single-use plastics. This is a great step forward for our environment, and for South Australia in leading the nation and implementing measures to protect our environment.
Check out our website to learn more on how AGC can help your business be complaint with these new laws, including providing our clients with compostable packaging solutions, education, waste consulting and auditing and implementing an effective bin system: https://www.australiangreenclean.com.au/waste-management-services