In 2020 South Australia was the first state in Australia to ban single-use plastics. The legislation, which passed in state parliament in September, comes into effect today.

That means single-use plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers are now prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in South Australia including (bioplastic alternatives). These items can be replaced with reusable and plastic-free compostable alternatives. (Exemptions apply for single-use plastic straws for people with a disability or medical needs. Exemptions also apply for plastic straws attached to products such as juice or milk boxes.)

The list of prohibited items will be expanded from March 1, 2022 to include polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers. Oxo-degradable plastic products, which break down into microplastics, will also be prohibited.

“We will continue to consider more products such as takeaway coffee cups, plastic barrier bags and other takeaway food service items as market demand increases and other sustainable alternatives become available,” Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said in a statement.

“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.”

The legislation was developed with a Single-Use Plastics Taskforce, which has representation from 15 different organisations, including people living with a disability.

The legislation doesn't prevent people from bringing their own straws to venues, and venues can still supply single-use plastic straws on request, due to disability or medical needs.

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