Legislation to ban single-use plastics was passed in South Australia’s state parliament on Wednesday.
The new measures were proposed by the Liberal government last year following a six-week consultation period, in which nearly 97 per cent of more than 3500 respondents called for “swift action,” Premier Steven Marshall said in a Facebook post. Draft legislation was then released for further public consultation.
The new rules are the first in the country to ban single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery and beverage stirrers. They also outline a framework for banning more items, such as polystyrene cups, bowls and plates, in the next 12 months. After that, there’ll be consultation on items such as takeaway coffee cups and fruit and vegetable bags.
The legislation was developed with the government’s Single-Use Plastics Taskforce, which has representation from 15 different organisations.
“Through this taskforce, we’ve developed an approach that balances the benefit to the environment, with minimising impact for businesses and accommodating the needs of people living with a disability who might find themselves reliant on certain single-use plastics,” Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said in a statement.
But its implementation will be delayed until early 2021 due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry.
“This will give businesses time to bounce back and properly prepare,” said Speirs.