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Single Use Plastics Ban in NSW and Plastic Free July

Single Use Plastics Ban in NSW and Plastic Free July

From 1 June 2022, the NSW government has placed a ban on single use, lightweight plastic (less than 35 microns) and compostable bags (bioplastics and compostable plant based bags). This will be followed by a ban on single use takeaway containers and cutlery from 1 November 2022. 

The reasoning behind banning all single use compostable bags (from June 2022) and straws, bowls and plates (from November 2022) is that these products require commercial / industrial composting facilities to break them down properly and if they are not placed in green organics bins or taken to these facilities for proper processing then they are just as detrimental to the environment as plastic. 

However, there are a few exceptions - the ban does NOT apply to:

  • thicker plastic bags (over 35 microns), like those at boutique stores or supermarkets (usually available for purchase) 
  • barrier bags that protect unpackaged food 
  • bin liner bags
  • human or animal waste bags
  • produce bags
  • bags used for medical purposes; and
  • sealed product packaging bags.

From 1 November 2022, the ban will extend to single use cutlery, stirrers, straws (unless supplied to a person with a disability), plates and bowls. 

This includes compostable plates that contain plastic or compostable materials - however it does not apply to plates, bowls and straws made from paper, wood or bamboo.

Specifically, it applies to single use takeaway items commonly made from or labelled:

  • plant-based bioplastic
  • PLA (polylactic acid)
  • CPLA (crystallised polylactic acid)
  • starch-based plastic
  • bioplastic
  • compostable plastic
  • Australian-certified compostable plastic (including AS 4736 and AS 5810)
  • biodegradable plastic
  • degradable plastic
  • green-certified plastic
  • corn-based plastic.

Again, there are a few exceptions - the ban does NOT apply to:

  • single-use plastic bowls with a spill proof lid (ie. our hot pots or other takeaway items requiring a spill proof lid)
  • serving utensils or serving ware (e.g. tongs, platters)
  • pre-packaged items that are integrated into the packaging of a food or beverage product through a machine automated process (e.g., straw attached to a juice box, or bowl containing a frozen meal).

Why the Ban?

In the words of the NSW Government:

“While plastic is a versatile and useful product, it’s increasingly threatening our natural environment. Single-use plastic items are those designed to be used once and then thrown away. They are cheap and convenient, but they pose an enormous threat to our environment."

Plastic packaging and single-use plastic items make up 60% of all litter in NSW. The Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021, which was passed by NSW Parliament on 16 November 2021, sets out the items to be banned in NSW. These bans will prevent nearly 2.7 billion plastic items from entering the coastal, marine and bushland environments of NSW over the next 20 years.

The legislation also provides a comprehensive framework that will help transition NSW towards a circular economy where materials and resources are valued and kept in the productive economy while creating jobs and protecting the environment and the community.”

Wonderful news - GO BYO! this PLASTIC FREE JULY and beyond

This is awesome news for us at Santos Organics! We have never had single use plastic bags in our stores and have been waiting for an initiative like this to be taken by the Government. We’re so excited to see this finally happening and it’s just in time for all the special things we have on offer for Plastic Free July!  Follow this LINK for our PFJ selection of sustainable, reusable ware.

For our in-store shoppers, it’s pretty much business as usual - we can still supply you with compostable bags in our Stores to wrap your produce (although loose and unbagged fruit and veggies are always best whenever possible!), we can still sell you compostable bin liners and we can continue serving you with our bamboo and paper takeaway containers in our cafes!

For our wider community, this initiative is a great opportunity to GO BYO! and bring more mindfulness and awareness to our shopping and dining choices. It’s a great reminder to bring your own produce bags and shopping bags and take your own cutlery and containers with you EVERYWHERE to pick up takeaway lunches or dinners and reduce the need for any kind of takeaway containers and cutlery at all. Even if just grabbing a sushi snack or croissant from the bakery, keep reusable containers in the car so you can just grab and go without using ANY disposable takeaway bags or containers (even if they are made from environmentally friendlier materials like paper).

If you love takeaway lunches while at work, make sure to keep a bowl or plate and cutlery at your desk or workplace to take with you whenever you grab some lunch. Many cafes and restaurants are more than happy to fill your BYO bowl and some places even offer small discounts! 

The same goes with coffee cups - statistics show that Australians throw out 2.7million single-use coffee cups every day, which adds up to a staggering 1 billion coffee cups thrown out every year, so make sure to ALWAYS take your coffee cup to your favourite café (HOT TIP - keep it in the car or in your bag!). 

This small step to GO BYO! everything will go a long way to reduce waste and tread more lightly on our Mother Earth and when others see how easy it is to do, it may also inspire them too!

At Santos Organics, we have many beautiful and practical sustainable container and coffee cup choices for you in ceramic, glass and stainless steel as well as cutlery sets and straws both online and in our Stores. It’s so easy to get creative with it too - any jars, bowls, plates or mugs from home also work too. Once you get started with GO BYO!, the options are fun and endless!