On 2 December 2020, the ACT Government introduced a bill which could spell the beginning of the end for single-use plastics in the State. The Plastic Reduction Bill is drafted for commencement on 1 July 2021, and will likely be debated early next year. The first round of bans include cutlery, stirrers, and polystyrene takeaway containers, with more items being phased out in subsequent years.
This follows a motion passed earlier this year by Victoria’s Upper calling on the State Government to invest in climate- and social-related issues. The Green New Deal will call for investment in new and expanded recycling facilities over the next five years.
Significant for the hospitality industry is the call for a blanket ban on single-use plastics, including polystyrene. This is in an attempt to offset predicted shortfalls in Victoria’s recycling capabilities, particularly in the areas of plastics and food waste processing.
This is excellent news for Eco-Warriors. With two states pushing for legislative change to ban single-use plastic in a single year, including our nation’s capital, we are confident that the other states will follow suit. Although Victoria’s Green New Deal is non-binding, it’s a step in the right direction, as they have been a bit slower than the other states to take action.
Disposable plastics are a huge contributor to pollution in Australia, and the more we can switch to compostable and reusable alternatives, the brighter our future will be.