South Australia bans single use plastic takeaway items – who’s next?

With South Australia, the first state to ban key single-use plastic items such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers - it’s now urgent other states also move on this plastic pollution, the Boomerang Alliance of 52 groups said today.

'We congratulate the South Australian Government on this ground-breaking legislation. Queensland and the ACT have legislation before their Parliaments, and we look forward to similar legislation in Western Australia and NSW later this year,' said Jeff Angel, Director of the Boomerang Alliance.

'These plastic items are amongst the most littered and represent a major threat to the environment and to wildlife. They all have available and better alternatives.'

The ban, which passed yesterday and will come into effect in 2021, also addresses the use of polystyrene plates, cups, bowls and containers, another Australian first.

There will be exemptions for people who require single-use plastic straws due to a disability or medical condition.

The Boomerang Alliance runs the successful Plastic Free SA program, which assists food retailers to switch away from single-use plastic takeaway items, including those items that fall under the ban. In 2020, despite COVID-19 restrictions, members of the program have removed nearly 400,000 single-use plastic items. Successful programs operate in several other states.

'Our program shows that switching to better alternatives such as reusable and compostable items is very achievable, and many of our members do so while reducing costs and waste'.