Australia

'It's time for stronger action': SA considers banning single-use plastics

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The South Australian state government has released a discussion paper floating the idea of a ban on single-use plastics such as straws and coffee cups.

A ban on single-use plastics, including straws, cutlery and coffee cups, is being considered in South Australia.

Also included in a discussion paper released by the state government on Sunday is a review of SA's container deposit scheme to determine what sort of containers should be included and whether the refund amount should be revised.

Environment Minister David Speirs says South Australia is a national leader in recycling and resource recovery and it's important to have a discussion about single-use plastics.

 

"I am keen to keep South Australia at the forefront of these areas, and to maintain this position while also increasing economic activity," Mr Speirs said.

"Plastic is a valuable material integral to modern life. But when littered, it ruins our environment's pristine image, and harms marine and terrestrial life."

The minister said there was increasing interest globally in bringing a halt to single-use plastics.

In October 2018, the European Union announced its intention to ban a range of plastic items.

"We can take more immediate local action on items that are designed and intended for disposal after only a single use, are prone to being littered, are unlikely to be recycled and for which more sustainable alternatives are available," Mr Speirs said.

The Turning the Tide on Single-Use Plastic Products discussion paper seeks views from the community and business on what they consider are the problems associated with plastic products, alternatives and if there is a need for government intervention.

A customer holds plastic supermarket shopping bag.
South Australia banned single-use lightweight plastic bags in 2009.
AAP

Environmental groups have welcomed the government's move with the Conservation SA declaring it in line with SA's leadership role in recycling.

"Despite this, the recent State of the Environment Report shows that per capita waste in SA still increased by over 40 per cent over the last five years," chief executive Craig Wilkins said.

"It's time for stronger action."

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