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NSW Single-Use Plastic Ban

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). [1]

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. [2]

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. [3]

This may be a good step in the right direction for climate action in Australia.

[1] “NSW is Making the Switch!” NSW Plastic Ban,

[2] “Which Australian States are Banning Single-use Plastics?” Marine Conservation, 4 November 2022, https://

[3] Meacham, Savannah. “NSW Has Phased More Single-use Plastics: Everything You Need to Know About State’s New Ban.” Nine News, 1 November 2022,


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