Project status: In progress

On 2 December 2020, the ACT Government introduced the Plastic Reduction Bill in the Legislative Assembly. Debate and passage of the Bill is expected to occur in early 2021, with the Bill drafted to commence on 1 July 2021. From this date, three key single-use plastic items will be banned in the ACT:

  • single-use plastic cutlery
  • single-use plastic stirrers
  • single-use expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers.

These items had some of the highest levels of community support for phase out and have the most readily available and well understood alternatives.

The Bill also provides the responsible minister with powers to declare a public event single-use plastic-free. A declaration can be for both government and non-government events, for example, Floriade, major festivals and sporting matches. Importantly, Government will consult with event organisers prior to making any declaration.

The following documents are available in the Document Library on this page:

Further detail on the phase out and future tranches can be found in the updated Next Steps Policy Document.

The next tranche of the ban is expected to commence on 1 July 2022, and include single‑use plastic straws (with exemptions for those who need them), single-use plastic barrier bags (used for items like fresh produce, meat, deli and seafood), and all products made from degradable plastic.

Degradable plastic is often used for soft plastics and includes additives to accelerate the fragmentation of the material into very small pieces, triggered by UV radiation or heat exposure.

The ACT Government has consulted extensively on the phase out of single-use plastics and will continue to work closely with the community, local businesses and organisations to implement it.

Thank you for having YourSay:

Thank you to everyone who provided their feedback on phasing out single-use plastics, how we can best reduce our plastic waste and improve environmental outcomes.

Between April and July 2019, the ACT Government consulted with the community via the Phasing out single-use plastics discussion paper. At the end of the consultation period, we had registered more than 3,300 interactions, including survey responses, submissions, YourSay comments and attendance at several community and business information sessions. You can read the engagement report and some of the submissions in the Document Library.

Your feedback also informed development of the exposure draft Plastic Reduction Bill 2020. Released in August 2020, submissions received on the exposure draft, and the Government response, are also available in the Document Library.

For updates and resources, please see visit www.cityservices.act.gov.au/single-use-plastics

Fast facts

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