Parting with plastic

South Australia’s historic ban on single-use plastic products began on March 1 with drinking straws, stirrers and cutlery prohibited from sale, supply or distribution across the state.

The ban is the first of its kind across Australia and follows the ground-breaking legislation passing Parliament last year.

South Australia is the first state in Australia to take this action and the move has seen the start-up of businesses which manufacture re-usable and compostable alternatives, having significant economic benefits and creating local jobs.

Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, said the Marshall Liberal Government won’t just stop at straws, stirrers and cutlery.

“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 Speirs said.

“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 does not prevent members of the community from bringing their own straws to cafes, and any business can choose to supply individual single-use plastic drinking straws on request, due to disability or medical needs.

Prescribed businesses including pharmacies, Local Government offices, charities, and medical, dental and care facilities are able to sell and supply packs of straws for these purposes.

Bioplastics, like PLA (Polylactic Acid), that can be labelled compostable, are also banned as these can only be composted under strict industrial conditions.

Mid North Climate connect group members Reeny Bradtke, Robert Crocker and Julie Cutten were pleased with the new ban, and had a message for the community.

There is ‘no away’ when you throw something away – it always ends up somewhere,” they said.

Sarah Clausen of 2point0 Takeaway in Balaklava, said the business had moved to more sustainable options some time ago.

“We’ve been using brown paper bags and paper straws for our thick shakes for a while now,” Sarah said.

“We definitely support it, it will be good for the environment.

“They are more expensive than plastic, but it’s not a huge difference.”

Sarah said overall, customers have embraced the changes.

“We’ve only had one or two people provide negative feedback,” she said.