Statewide single-use restriction officially begins Monday, March 1 2021

BANNED: Single-use plastic products which are often thrown away and usually result in litter and waste. Photo: Shutterstock
BANNED: Single-use plastic products which are often thrown away and usually result in litter and waste. Photo: Shutterstock

Monday, March 1 marks South Australia's historic ban on the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic straws, plastic cutlery and plastic stirrers.

The restriction responds to single-use plastic products limited in their number of use, often thrown away and usually result in litter and waste, which are harmful to wildlife, including marine life.

Exemptions have been made for people with a disability of health needs with single-use items available on request from outlets who have decided to keep these on hand after March 1.

In September 2020 SA became the first state in the nation to pass legislation to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic products.

The change follows an overwhelming response from the community for urgent action on single-use plastic products after the release of the Turning the Tide discussion paper in 2019.

During December, Environment and Water Minister David Speirs led the launch of the Replace the Waste campaign to help businesses and the public learn more about the historic legislation and make the transition.

"Our legislation at first bans single-use plastic items like straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers and will expand to include other items such as polystyrene cups, bowls and plates in early 2022," he had said.

A framework of the ban means more items will be added in the future.

Importantly, the Minister explained how the new legislation was developed with the help of the Single-Use Plastics Taskforce represented by 15 different organisations, including people living with disability.

"Through this taskforce we've developed an approach that balances the benefit to the environment while minimising impact for businesses and recognising the needs of people who rely on single-use plastic straws to safely consume beverages and food," he said.

Many businesses have since adapted to the changes by deleting the plastic items from inventories, using up existing stocks, ordering alternatives, having signage in place and training staff.

A hotline was also established to help businesses, cafés and restaurants with the transition.

More information about the ban is available at www.replacethewaste.sa.gov.au.

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This story Statewide plastic ban hits Monday first appeared on The Murray Valley Standard.