May 29 - June 4, 2022: Issue 540


Plastic Bag Ban Commences From June 1st In NSW: plastic straws + more banned from november 1st 2022

Photo: MP for Manly and Minister for Environment James Griffin with an aquatic friend who will be finding less plastic in their home shortly. Image source; James Griffin MP for Manly FB page.

Marking a major pivot away from single-use plastics, the NSW Government’s ban on lightweight plastic bags will come into force on Wednesday this week.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the lightweight plastic bag ban is the first of many plastic items being banned in New South Wales this year.

'I think all of us can see the impact plastic pollution is having on our environment, which is why we’re making major changes in New South Wales this year,' Mr Griffin said.

'The ban on lightweight single-use bags comes into place from 1 June, and then from November, we’re banning more problematic plastics, such as cutlery and plates.

'Single-use plastic is used by many of us for just a few convenient minutes, but it remains in our environment for many years, eventually breaking into microplastics.

'Single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60% of all litter in New South Wales. By stopping the supply of problematic plastic in the first place, we’re helping prevent it from entering our environment as litter, or going into landfill.

'We each have the power to make positive environmental change at an individual level, and I encourage everyone to choose to go plastic-free as often as they can.'

The NSW Government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 in November, and introduced the Plastics Action Plan last year.

The ban will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the environment in New South Wales over the next 20 years.

In addition to the June 1st lightweight plastic bag ban, from November 1st the NSW Government is banning:
  • single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
  • expanded polystyrene food ware and cups
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.
So-called 'compostable' and 'bioplastic' alternatives to the above items are also being banned. That’s because they don’t biodegrade unless they’re treated in an industrial composting facility, creating just as much of a problem as conventional plastic.

To ensure small businesses are ready for the changes this year, the NSW Government engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to deliver a comprehensive retailer education campaign.

Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos said the NSW Government is supporting more than 40,000 businesses across New South Wales to phase-out single-use plastics.

'The NSW Government has worked with stakeholders to support small businesses to understand how they will be affected, how to comply with new laws and what alternatives they can use to single-use plastics,' Ms Petinos said.

'Through the NRA, we’re running a retailer education campaign, conducting store visits, and providing online webinars and resources to help businesses make the adjustment away from single-use plastics.'

The NRA has launched a free hotline (1800 844 946) to offer businesses, community organisations and consumers advice on the single-use plastic bans.

For more information about the NSW plastics ban, visit Department of Planning and Environment's Plastics ban website

Reminder: Avalon Boomerang Bags workshops happen at the Avalon Recreational Centre on Tuesdays from 11.30am - 3pm. Helpers welcome - you don't need to know how to sew, there are other things you can do. Stay and have a chat. Boomerang Bags is a grassroots community movement that aims to tackle plastic pollution at its source.

 Follow the link on this poster to find out more, At: HERE

Launch of Boomerang Bags - June 2016: Picture (l to r): Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater and NSW Minister for Planning, Former Deputy Mayor of Pittwater, Kylie Ferguson, and Laurel Wood and Kirsty Giles: the ladies then heading up Avalon Boomerang Bags - A J Guesdon photo

Northern Beaches Surfrider Foundation members Brendan Donohoe (middle) with Jesse and Rowan Hanley - who organise Beach Clean Ups and have campaigned for a plastics ban in NSW. A J Guesdon photo

Living Ocean founding members at the launch of Avalon Boomerang Bags in June 2016 - Living Ocean have also campaigned for No More Plastics Please for years and are still focused on studying the impact of micro and macro plastics in our area  - visit: Careel Multi Layered Coastal Assessment CMCA