Local cafes and restaurants using or providing plastic plates, cutlery, chopsticks and straws could be fined $11,000 from next week under new laws about to be enforced in NSW.
Same goes for polystyrene cups and food ware, toothpicks, cotton buds and cleansers containing plastic microbeads.
For generations, these items have been part of everyday Australian life, but time is up from November 1, when the second stage of the Government’s single-use plastics ban is introduced.
The ban will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the NSW environment in the next 20 years.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) says the new rules apply to manufacturers, wholesalers, businesses, and community organisations using “traditional” plastics as well as any biodegradable, compostable or bioplastics alternatives, including those made from Australian certified compostable plastic.
Plastic lined paper plates and bowls will be “temporarily exempt” and can be supplied until 31 October, 2024.
Minister for the Environment James Griffin said outlawing single-use plastics will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the NSW environment in the next two decades.
“About 95% of the litter on our beaches and waterways comes from suburban streets,” he said, “Single use plastics and packaging make up two-thirds of all litter in the state.”
Environmental Protection Authority.
On the spot fines will range from $1100 for an individual to $5500 for a corporation.
If the matter goes to Court, you could be slugged up to $11,000 (individuals) to $55,000 (corporation).
The National Retail Organisation will provide ongoing support for 40,000 businesses across NSW as they phase out single use items.
Minister for the Environment James Griffin took to the water this week to remove plastics at Manly Cove. Image: Supplied.
Educational material and in-person advice has also been provided in more than 15 different languages to support people and communities with diverse backgrounds.
The NSW Government has partnered with Great Plastic Rescue to collect excess stock from wholesalers, distributors, retailers, businesses and not-for-profits for recycling and remanufacturing into new items.