Following the passing of the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020, stage one of prohibitions come into effect from 1 March 2021. Stage one restrictions mean that plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers will be prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in South Australia.

While there are exemptions that allow for the supply of single use plastic straws in a health and disability setting, there are no exemptions that would apply to retail generally, beyond a specific exemption to those single use plastic straws that are attached to milk or juice box drinks, provided the straws are attached at manufacture and are not added post wholesale/pre retail.

Stage Two prohibitions will come into effect in March 2022 and will make the sale, supply or distribution of polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers prohibited.

The Environmental Protection Agency will be responsible for inspections and will administer the fines of up to $20,000 associated with breaching the Act.

It is also a breach of the Act to falsely represent a product as not being prohibited by the Act (to state that the item is acceptable when it is in fact prohibited)

Get ready now

Retailers are advised to;

  • Ensure that no prohibited items are offered for sale, supply or distribution after 1 March 2021. It is important to note that this includes any stock that is in the storeroom. A business cannot simply “use up current stock”. Any sale, supply or distribution of prohibited items on or after 1 March 2021 will result in a breach of the Act. So retailers should review their stock and discuss options to return to supplier, recycle or dispose.
  • Consider talking to staff about how the prohibition might effect customers, likely reactions and appropriate responses. The SA Govts Replace the Waste campaign provides some Talking Points for businesses to explore these items with their staff –
  • Consider it it would be appropriate to communicate the change to your customers in the form of posters. The SA Govts Replace the Waste campaign provides downloadable poster materials –

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