SA’s trail-blazing single-use plastic ban now in force

South Australia’s single-use plastic ban began on 1 March, the first such prohibition of its kind in any Australian state or territory.

Plastic single-use drinking straws, stirrers, and cutlery are now banned from sale, supply, or distribution across the state, including in supermarkets and other shops.

The ban follows passage through State Parliament of legislation developed with the help of SA’s Single-Use Plastics Taskforce, the members of which included the Local Government Association of SA.

State Environment Minister David Speirs said: “Our single-use plastic ban will have significant economic benefits and create local jobs, as well as being good for the environment.”

Businesses can choose to supply individual single-use plastic drinking straws on request, for customers with disability or medical needs.

Prescribed businesses including pharmacies, local government offices, charities, and medical, dental, and care facilities can sell and supply packs of straws for these purposes.

Members of the community can bring their own straws to cafes.

Bioplastics, like PLA (Polylactic Acid), which can be labelled compostable, are also banned as these can only be composted under strict industrial conditions.

More plastic products will be banned in SA next year, including polystyrene cups, bowls, plates, and oxo-degradable plastic products.

“We will continue to consider more products such as takeaway coffee cups, plastic barrier bags, and other takeaway foodservice items as market demand increases and other sustainable alternatives become available,” Mr Speirs said.

“We are protecting our environment for future generations, reducing marine and other litter, and promoting the circular economy with a shift away from a single-use, throwaway mindset.”

A single-use plastic ban begins in the ACT on1 July and in Queensland in September.