The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR), the national peak body for all stakeholders in the waste and resource recovery industry, welcomes the SA Government’s announcement that it will move forward with a ban on a range of single-use plastics in the State.
SA will be the first State in Australia to ban multiple single-use plastic items such as plastic straws, cutlery, and stirrers. Takeaway polystyrene containers and cups are next on the chopping board.
“SA is once again ahead of the pack and the hope is that other jurisdictions will follow suit and take similar action against single-use plastics,” WMRR CEO, Ms Gayle Sloan, said, adding that SA could take the lead in driving a national outcome at the next Meeting of Environment Ministers (MEM), which would assist in achieving one of the National Waste Policy goals of reducing waste per capita.
“Regulating the use of single-use plastics will go a long way in avoiding the creation of unnecessary waste, reducing pollution and increasing reuse of materials. It is also hoped that such an initiative will assist in improving the quality of recyclable materials recovered in the State by eliminating contaminants often found in the yellow bin.
“Eliminating single-use items that have readily available re-useable alternatives is a great step in reducing waste generation and challenging the convenience paradigm that we have towards consumption. We really need to rethink what products we buy - do we even need them and how do we reuse or recycle them?”
Draft legislation will be released for further consultation later this year, which WMRR will provide feedback on.
“WMRR looks forward to continued engagement with the SA Government as it develops legislation for the ban. Changing single-use plastics behaviours is challenging and WMRR encourages the Government to also think about effective education and communication to complement the roll-out of the ban, including how to encourage avoidance in the first instance, as well as incentives and rewards to assist businesses as they transition in 2020 when the ban in enacted,” Ms Sloan said.