ACT proposes to ban single-use plastics

The proposal follows the South Australian Government’s announcement to ban single-use plastics such as straws and plastic bags in January this year.

The ACT government is considering a potential ban on single-use plastics including straws and cutlery following a proposal put forward by City Services Minister Chris Steel.

While the Government does not have a list of which plastics would be included in the ban, it plans to launch an information paper on moving beyond single-use plastics (including plastic bags), which will be developed in the coming months, to gauge how the community feels about banning these products or taking alternative measures.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said the government must consider action on single-use plastic, and to question whether they remain consistent with the ambition to reduce environmental impacts and drive resource recovery in the ACT towards 90 per cent by 2025.

“Single-use plastics, including but not limited to lightweight plastic bags, are an issue of both public and environmental concern,” he said.

“Given our ambition to work towards 90 percent of our waste being diverted from landfill by 2025, a broader approach to single-use plastic is a logical approach.”

Steel’s proposal follows the South Australian Government’s announcement to ban single-use plastics such as straws and plastic bags in January, and the European Parliament’s move to completely ban on single-use plastic products, including straws, plates and cutlery in a bid to stop ocean pollution.

“South Australia – which introduced Australia’s first state-wide lightweight plastic bag ban in 2009 – is considering potential ‘step changes’ that could be made to address the impacts of single-use plastics and other single-use items on the economy, society and the environment,” said Steel.

“South Australia has recognised that there is a clear benefit in addressing the related issues of single-use plastic bags and other single-use plastics together, and this is an approach we support.

“The ACT has the opportunity to take progressive action on problematic plastics – such as the action we are seeing in the EU, the UK, New Zealand and even closer to home in South Australia. Doing more also demonstrates our commitment to the National Waste Policy, and the global shift toward a more circular economy.

“The time is right to ask some challenging questions, and take stronger action to address the consumption of problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic.”

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