Australia is Doing Their Part for the Environment
We’re making moves Down Under.
Australia has set plans to phase out single-use “problematic and unnecessary” plastics from 2025, including utensils, straws, food containers, microbeads in beauty products, and other consumer goods packaging.
Here is what each state is doing:
South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics commenced on 1 March 2021, banning single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cutlery. On 1 March 2022, polystyrene food & beverage containers as well as oxo-degradable plastics will be added to the ban. Details here.
The ACT Government’s ban on single-use plastic cutlery, drink stirrers and polystyrene food and beverage containers commenced 1 July 2021, with straws, fruit & veggie barrier bags and degradable plastics on the list to be phased out on 1 July 2022 following further consultation. Details here.
The Queensland Government’s ban on single-use plastics commenced on 1 September 2021, banning single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and polystyrene food & beverage containers. Details here.
The Western Australia Government has committed to ban plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws, thick plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, and helium balloon releases by 2022. In stage two, now to be completed by 2023, takeaway coffee cups/lids containing plastic, plastic barrier/produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics will be banned. Details here.
Victoria‘s government has committed to ban single-use plastics by February 2023, including single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks. In correspondence with AMCS, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has confirmed oxo-degradable plastics will also be included in the ban. Details here.
The New South Wales Government has committed to ban single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, expanded polystyrene food service items, plastic cotton bud sticks, and microbeads in cosmetics, expected to commence in 2022 if laws pass this year. Details here.
Tasmania and the Northern Territory are yet to announce commitments to ban single-use plastics.
It’s moves like these that help us – everyday consumers – do our part without having to think about it too much (because let’s face it, we’re all pretty busy, but still want to do our bit to help out the planet as much as we can).
We’re proud to see Australia follow suit with the likes of the European Union, who already have banned these plastics since July 2020.
Taking Small Eco-Friendly Steps
The big thing here, though, is to remember that we’re not all perfect.
No one’s expecting you to be perfect.
It’s all about making small eco-friendly changes every day, like opting for sustainable fashion rather than fast fashion, or bringing your own cutlery to work (we can help you out in that department).
Let’s look at some environmentally friendly things YOU can do in your daily life:
- Use reusable bags or tote bags when shopping.
- If you forgot your bags, try using a cardboard box or carton (or carry in your hands if it’s not too much).
- Swap to shampoo and conditioner in bar form, rather than in plastic bottles (there are a lot more options available on the market now that are easily accessible).
- Take a reusable water bottle and mug/cup for hot drinks around with you.
- Wherever you can, avoid purchasing items with plastic packaging (obviously it’s not always an option, but try as much as you can to go for stuff like cardboard boxes).
- Opt for a travel cutlery set rather than single-use options.
Every little bit counts.
The next time someone tells you their plastic fork at lunch “won’t make a difference,” remind them that if everyone on the earth said the same thing, nothing would ever change.
While you’re at it, get yourself your own reusable cutlery set for work with a metal straw and cleaner (plastic-free AND the best way to avoid the office cutlery that no one washes properly anyway).