News On Plastic Ban 📰 – NSW Bans Single-Use Plastic, Woolworths Stops Selling 15c Reusable Bags
News On Plastic Ban 📰: In this short news article, we bring you the latest events that have transpired featuring NSW and the supermarket giant in Australia we all know, Woolworths. Continue reading to learn more.
Here at Waster, we always look at the bright side of things and hope for the best without fail. We, of course, trust that people, most especially the Australian Government, are becoming more aware of the plastic waste problem that we have caused through the years, and are creating a long-term solution for it.
Similarly, we have always done – and still do – our own part to help reduce plastic waste: by offering waste and recycling services and writing blogs/latest news articles. But at the end of the day, we want stronger and wider-scaled initiatives.
Lo and behold, two important news pertaining to plastic bans drop on the same day!
A lot has happened in the past few hours, but none more important (for us, at the very least) than the news we bear for you today.
In a not-so-surprising, expected turn of events that has transpired without even a day passing by, NSW announced that its single-use plastic ban will take effect in two stages starting in a few days, 1 June 2022. On the same day, Australia’s supermarket giant Woolworths announced that it will ditch its 15c reusable bags and will instead focus on a more sustainable alternative.
Below, we present to you the most important details that you should definitely know of in the two similar news in regards to the plastic ban. We suggest that you continue reading this article to learn more.
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NSW plastic ban news: everything you should know
To be honest, NSW was a bit behind compared to the rest of Australia when it comes to banning single-use plastics. However, we do not have to worry about that anymore as it announced that it will finally launch its banning of lightweight single-use plastic bags – along with adding more disposable items to ban before the year 2022 ends.
This was months in the making before its release as in 16 November 2021, the NSW government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021. 16,000 people’s inputs helped make this legislation happen and the related NSW Plastic Action Plan.
What are the changes that will occur on the first day of June? Well, first things first: shopping. Lightweight single-use plastic bags less than 35 microns in thickness at any part will outright be banned.
Take note that this also includes shopping bags made from biodegradable, compostable and/or bioplastic materials.
In addition to the already-stated info on the plastic ban news in NSW, the ban itself does not include thicker plastic bags (as mentioned, over 35 microns) such as those from major supermarkets and boutique stores, barrier bags such as produce and deli bags, bin liners and compost caddy liners, nappy bags, human and animal waste bags and medical waste bags (but do take note to exclude the bags used to contain and transport medical items from the retailer from those prior mentioned).
Expect this at a later date
Come 1 November 2022, NSW will impose further bans on single-use plastics. Specifically, it will see to the ban of single-use plastic straws, bowls, containers, cotton buds, microbeads in hygiene products such as facewash and soap stirrers and cutlery, which includes knives, forks, chopsticks and food picks.
Same as with the single-use plastic bags above, this will undoubtedly include biodegradable, compostable and/or bioplastic materials because they cannot break down outside of commercial composting facilities.
However, the news on NSW’s plastic ban does not include serving utensils such as salad servers or tongs, nor items that are part of the packaging, such as a straw on a juice box, or a plastic film lid on a bowl. To add, exemptions have been made for people with a disability or medical need – they can continue using straws to make their quality of life greater for them.
The NSW ban was supposed to include the probation of paper-based products with plastic linings, but a two-year exemption was put in place and see them in circulation until October 31, 2024.
Businesses breaking the law should expect a fine of up to $55,000 dollars whilst individuals risk fines of up to $11,000 dollars.
Mixed reactions to NSW’s plastic ban news
This breaking news on NSW’s plastic ban generally received positive reactions. But along with the positive reactions, come the negative ones.
Understandably so, small businesses will have a rather hard time adjusting to the new implementations – the reason for their hesitation.
Recent news reports that “takeaway owners say the move to ban single-use plastic bags will be sweet and sour, admitting it’s going to be ‘annoying’ even though they’re happy to support the major environmental reform.”
They have to throw out all their stocked plastic containers that are banned and have to buy another batch of containers that are allowed. In addition, failure to comply will result in a 250,000-dollar fine.
Here are some of the statements according to Daily Mail News:
‘It’s good for the environment but it is going to be a little bit annoying for us,’ Yui, who works at the Japanese Noodle shop Gumshara in Sydney’s Haymarket, told Daily Mail Australia.
She said staff are ‘not quite ready’ to make the switch and will need to figure out this week what alternative bags they will hand out.
‘We serve a lot of soup and noodles so if we have to use a paper container that would be hard,’ she said.
‘Noodles stick to paper containers. And it is hard to secure soup in a paper container.’
But others, though a bit of an inconvenience, have accepted and are willing to comply for the sake of the environment.
Nearby, At Thai Cuisine worker Chris says they’ve come up with a solution to the bag problem.
‘It is very annoying to change but we can do it differently,’ he said. ‘We have a supplier that makes plastic (style) bags out of corn. Much better for the environment.
Plastic ban news: other states to follow NSW’s footsteps
Following the NSW plastic ban news, other states have pledged to follow in their footsteps.
The coffee cup ban will come along with bans on some polystyrene trays, single-use produce bags, balloon sticks, closures and clip bread bag tags.
What single-use plastics will Queensland ban? The products are as follows:
- cotton buds with plastic stems
- expanded polystyrene loose packaging
- plastic microbeads in hygiene and cleaning products
- helium balloon releases
In 2025, Queensland will also ban bait bags, plastic dome lids, plastic wrapping on magazines, and takeaway containers.
Just like NSW, WA has already started their ban on single-use plastic, albeit starting at an earlier time. Stage one of the plan came into effect on 1 January 2022 and regulation enforcement on 1 July 2022 (except for single-use cups that will start on 1 October 2022) and banned the following items:
- plastic stirrers
- thicker plastic bags
- EPS food containers
- helium balloon releases
Stage two will occur at the end of 2022. This stage will see a ban on single-use plastic takeaway coffee cups and lids, produce bags, certain types of cotton buds, polystyrene packages and microbeads.
Another news on plastic ban: Woolworths
In other related news on the plastic ban, Woolworths has decided to ditch the 15c reusable bag in WA, citing the reason as finding more sustainable ways. The supermarket giant will stop selling them across all WA stores in July, adding to the mentioned plastic ban on lightweight plastic bags coming into effect in NSW.
Why the move? That is because the recent introduction of compostable fruit and vegetable bags in Woolworths’ South Australian supermarkets last month managed to eliminate up to 70 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually, as mentioned by the retailer. However, no plans stating to switch to compostable fruit and vegetable bags in other states have happened.
In addition to this plastic ban news, Woolworths also announced that it will power its SA stores using renewable energy from July, in which other states will also follow in the near future.
This move by Woolworths comes amidst a new renewable energy partnership which will see the supermarket giant’s almost 70 supermarkets, 17 BIG Ws and Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre go green.
Where will the source of electricity come from? Answer: the renewable electricity will come from
Iberdrola Australia’s wind turbines and solar network at the newly developed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park.
Across the park, 50 turbines and 250,000 solar panels will work in tandem to supply 100,000 Megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year on the retailer’s behalf.
“This is the way the world is moving. Private capital is now leading the charge in backing clean energy, which presents a big opportunity for South Australian jobs,” said South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas.
“Which is why the State Labor government is working to ensure we maintain our position as a national leader on renewable energy.”
Expect to see the end of non-reusable energy usage from Woolworths through gradually replacing in other states across Australia by 2025.
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