Ban on single use plastics takes effect this week

01st Nov 2022

From this week, businesses will be banned from selling a number of common items, as new bans on single-use plastics take effect in NSW.
The ban on single-use plastic bags which began on June 1 has been expanded to include items such as plastic straws, cutlery and certain hair and face products.
Here is a full list of the items that businesses will be banned from supplying from tomorrow:
• single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers, straws, plates and bowls, expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items (including EPS clamshells, cups, plates and bowls)
• single-use plastic cotton buds
• certain rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads, including face and body cleansers, exfoliants, masks, shampoo, conditioner, hair dyes, and toothpaste
Retail and hospitality businesses must abide by the new bans, including restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels.
Charities and individuals undertaking an activity for sporting, education or community purposes must also follow the new rules.
There are some exceptions to the new bans, including providing plastic straws upon request to people with a disability or medical need.
Single-use plastic bowls designed or intended to have a spill-proof lid and serving utensils or serving ware, such as tongs and platters, are also exempt.
The exemptions also extend to pre-packaged items that are integrated into the packaging of a food or beverage product through a machine automated process, such as straws attached to a juice box.
The EPA has also granted an exemption, with a two-year review period, for the supply of plastic single-use cotton buds and plastic single-use bowls for medical, scientific and forensic purposes in certain circumstances.
There is a one-off, time bound exemption for plates and bowls that are made of paper or cardboard but have a plastic lining or coating. This exemption expires on October 31, 2024.
It comes after lightweight plastic bags were banned across the state in June 1, 2022, with retailers caught supplying these bags risking a fine of up to $275,000.
If caught defying the new bans, businesses could cop an on-the-spot fine of $2750 or up to $11,000 in penalties for individual suppliers, including sole traders.
A maximum $55,000 penalty is possible for corporations and $110,000 for manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.