A range of single-use plastics including straws and cutlery is set to be banned in South Australia — but that could be just the tip of the iceberg, with items including takeaway coffee cups and plastic bags also in the firing line.
The SA Government said it intended to draft legislation later this year banning certain single-use plastic products, with the intention of introducing it to Parliament in 2020.
It follows a six-week consultation period earlier this year which garnered more than 3,500 responses, with an overwhelming majority in favour of “government intervention”, Environment Minister David Speirs said.
Mr Speirs said the ban would make South Australia the first state in the nation to outlaw plastic straws and drink stirrers.
“At first, we will look at products including plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers, with items such as takeaway polystyrene containers and cups next,” he said.
“Further consideration would be needed when looking at takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags and other takeaway food service items following consultation.”
The Government said a pilot program to establish “plastic-free precincts” would help to refine the policy, with the longer-term intention of phasing out items including polystyrene coffee and soup cups.
Public consciousness about the environmental impacts of plastics has been growing in recent years, and has been highlighted by photos showing seabirds which died from consuming plastic.
It has been estimated that Australians use 10 million straws every day although that figure has been contested.