A recent survey found that 94% of respondents support a phase-out of polystyrene, and 91% supported a phase-out of plastic cutlery.
30 January 2020
Plastic is a problem, which is why we’re taking action to phase out selected plastic products in the ACT.
Some plastics consumed in the ACT are designed to be thrown away after a single use. Many single-use plastic products are difficult to recycle and as a result end up in landfill or the natural environment.
The ACT has already taken steps to address the impact of single-use plastic through the plastic bag ban introduced in 2011. We are now looking to phase out selected problematic single-use plastic that have readily available alternatives.
Recently, through the ‘Phasing out single-use plastics discussion paper’, we consulted broadly with industry, business and the community about ways to avoid and reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. There were over 3,300 responses to the consultation, demonstrating a high degree of community interest in the issue.
The community survey revealed that:
a) 94% support a phase out of polystyrene
b) 93% support a phase out of plastic stirrers and straws
c) 92% support a phase out of plastic lined coffee cups or lids
d) 91% support a phase out of plastic cutlery
e) 91% support a phase out of plastic plates and cups
f) 87% support a phase out of takeaway food containers
g) 85% support a phase out of lightweight fruit and vegetable barrier bags.
An additional survey of the general community was undertaken by the ACT Government which found definite or probable support for:
a) banning single-use plastic straws (77%)
b) banning plastic-lined takeaway coffee cups (71%)
c) banning single-use plastic takeaway containers (68%)
d) banning thicker plastic bags (58%).
In 2020, the ACT Government will introduce legislation to phase out the sale and distribution of selected single-use plastic products.
Immediate phase out
- Single-use plastic cutlery.
- Single-use plastic stirrers.
- Single-use expanded polystyrene foam takeaway food and beverage containers (e.g. cups and clamshells).
Phase out after 12 months
- Single-use plastic fruit and vegetable ‘barrier bags’.
- Oxo-degradable plastic products (certain plastic products which include additives to accelerate fragmentation into microplastics).
- Single-use plastic straws – except for people who need them because of a disability or for medical reasons.
The following items will be considered in the longer term:
- Plastic-lined single-use coffee cups and lids
- Single-use plastic dinnerware
- Other single-use plastic products including boutique/heavyweight plastic bags
- Cotton ear buds (with plastic sticks)
Find out more in the new report ‘ Phasing out single-use plastics: Next Steps Policy’, available here: www.yoursay.act.gov.au/single-use-plastics