SA first Australian state to ban plastic straws, cutlery and drink stirrers

SA first Australian state to ban plastic straws, cutlery and drink stirrers.jpg

South Australia is set to ban plastic straws, cutlery and drink stirrers under new legislation proposed by the state government.

Under the legislation, businesses would be required to phase out the single-use items, with a ban on takeaway polystyrene containers and cups to follow.

The announcement comes after a six-week consultation period earlier this year, which received more than 3,500 responses, the majority of which were in favour of "government intervention" to the war on plastic.

Environment Minister David Speirs said South Australia will be the first state in the nation to enforce such a ban.

“SA is continuing to lead the nation and set the agenda in recyclables and waste management,” Mr Speirs told the Adelaide Advertiser.

“We led the way with our container-deposit scheme, we were ahead of the pack on plastic bag reform and now we will lead the country on single-use plastics,” he said.

“The community has called for swift action on single-use plastic products. Social and corporate action is already under way on some of these items, and there are readily [available] alternatives.”

In an interview with ABC News, Speirs revealed that a “pilot program” will be set up to test the viability of the ban.

“At first, we will look at products including plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers, with items such as takeaway polystyrene containers and cups next,” Speirs said.

Sarah Hanson-Young, a federal Greens senator from South Australia, praised the South Australian government for “listening to the people and moving beyond single-use plastics”.

“It’s well past time to act on this issue,” Hanson-Young said. “With the extinction crisis looming, we know reducing pollution is an important step.

“For too long, single-use plastics have been unregulated, choking our waterways, oceans, and beaches.”

Single-use plastic bags have been banned in South Australia for nearly a decade, and as the public backlash against single-use plastic gathers force, other governments are finally getting behind statewide bans.

The Victorian Government has moved to ban all single-use plastic bags from retail outlets, including supermarkets, fashion boutiques, fast-food outlets, convenience stores and service stations from November 1.

Would you like to ban single-use plastic from your own life? Check out these 52 ways you can cut down on your plastic use to make a start.