Resources & Waste
Say goodbye to single-use plastics.
It’s time we put a stop to plastic pollution that chokes our waterways and damages wildlife.
Animals can consume plastic (e.g. plastic bags and bottle tops) by mistake, confusing it with a natural food source, causing physical injury or death. Animals can also get caught in plastics that have been thrown away. Items like fishing nets and bottle rings can be especially dangerous. As plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, it can get into the food chain, which is bad for animals, and also bad for us. To top it off, the manufacture of plastic creates greenhouse gas emissions, and requires fossil fuels.
Did you know?
More than 130 million metric tonnes of single-use plastics were thrown away in 2019.
35% was burned, 31% went to landfill and 19% was dumped – on land or into our oceans and waterways. (2)
In 2019, each Australian generated around 59kg of single-use plastic waste second to Singapore. (2)
Australia generated 75.8 million tonnes of solid waste in 2018-19 – 10% more than 2 years before. (3)
What do we mean by ‘single-use plastics’?
Common types of unnecessary, avoidable or replaceable single-use plastic items include: plastic bags (including those that are biodegradable and compostable), water bottles, straws, disposable containers, disposable coffee cups & lids, straws and cutlery.
New laws to ban single-use plastics
In July 2021, the Plastic Reduction Act came into force, banning the sale and supply of single-use plastic stirrers, cutlery and polystyrene food and beverage containers.
By July 2022, the ban is expected to extend to single-use fruit and vegetable ‘barrier bags’, oxo-degradable plastic products, and single-use straws (except for those who need them.)
The new laws will also mean Canberra events like Enlighten, Floriade and sporting events will be plastic-free.
There is more to do!
Western Australia and Queensland are fast-tracking the ban on single-use plastic products. We can move quickly in the ACT by banning the use of heavy weight plastic bags, fruit and vegetable barrier bags, straws, takeaway cups and more!
(2) Andrew Macintosh, Amelia Simpson and Teresa Neeman (2018) Regulating Plastic Shopping Bags in the Australian Capital Territory: Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010 Options Analysis, Australian National University, Canberra, p 48
(3) Andrew Macintosh, Amelia Simpson and Teresa Neeman (2018) Regulating Plastic Shopping Bags in the Australian Capital Territory: Plastic Shopping Bags Ban Act 2010 Options Analysis, Australian National University, Canberra, p 44.
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