As of 1 June 2022, lightweight plastic shopping bags are now banned in NSW.
The NSW government has implemented their first ban in a series of single-use plastic phase outs. Single use plastic items and packaging make up 60% of all litter in NSW.
There will also be more items banned from 1 November 2022. These items are single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls, and cotton buds, expanded polystyrene food ware and cups, and rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.
Residents are encouraged to swap single-use plastic items for reusable and sustainable alternatives to help reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfill, or as litter in our environment.
Swap alternatives can include:
- Reusable coffee mugs and cups Check out Green Caffeen
- Using reusable & sustainable material items for cutlery and personal hygiene
- Cloth or a tote bag and fresh produce bags
From 1 November 2022, plastic items that are added to the banned list cannot be sold or given away for free. Businesses and organisations are expected to be involved and adhere to guidelines set by the NSW State Government.
The EPA has contracted Civic Futures Lab to run a Great Plastic Rescue Campaign (GPR). Businesses with excess banned plastic stock can register their stock and the team at Civic Futures lab will work with the business to collect and recycle existing stock.
Participation in GPR is voluntary but provides a great alternative to banned items ending up in landfill. Registrations from small business will be prioritised, and non-for-profit, sporting and community service organisations that employ less than 20 people can also be considered.
Businesses may choose to register here.
For more information you can visit here.