Noticed the slow disappearance of plastic straws across our state? Editorial Assistant Eva Anido describes the new ban on single-use plastic products.
Gone are the days of Boost Juice asking whether you want a plastic or paper straw when picking up your Mango Magic on campus. NSW has banned single-use plastics in restaurants and other businesses, but what does this mean?
In NSW from June 1 2022, we saw a ban on single use plastic bags (specifically 35 microns or less) spread across the state. Following this, on November 1 of 2022, the ban expanded to other single-use plastic items including: single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, unlidded bowls, cotton buds, as well as foodware and cups made from expanded polystyrene foam (EPS). 
Every state in Australia has banned lightweight plastic bags. Tasmania is now the only state without a plan to ban single-use plastic items. NSW still allows some single-use plastic items like coffee cups, plastic takeaway containers, plastic produce bags and plastic cups and lids. So, we still have some way to go. 
If a business is distributing single-use plastics the individual using the item will not be at fault as the penalty will fall on the business. So, what would happen if a business still used these banned products in NSW? The responsibility for dealing with this belongs to the Environmental Regulator who will firstly educate the business as a warning, if seen fit. Otherwise, a fine will be distributed of up to $1100 for individual businesses or $5500 for corporations. 
This may be a good step in the right direction for climate action in Australia.
 “NSW is Making the Switch!” NSW Plastic Ban, https://nswplasticsban.com.au/.
 “Which Australian States are Banning Single-use Plastics?” Marine Conservation, 4 November 2022, https:// www.marineconservation.org.au/which-australian-states-are-banning-single-use-plastics/.
 Meacham, Savannah. “NSW Has Phased More Single-use Plastics: Everything You Need to Know About State’s New Ban.” Nine News, 1 November 2022, https://www.9news.com.au/national/nsw-single-use-plastic-ban-whatsbanned-not-banned-november-1-explainer/cf6470ed-a263-4e0a-bd45-f2651aacf3a1.