• Australian first: SA Environment Minister David Speirs launching the state's plan for a single-use plastic ban.
    Australian first: SA Environment Minister David Speirs launching the state's plan for a single-use plastic ban.

The South Australian Government will move to ban a range of single-use plastic products, including cutlery, straws and stirrers, and is looking to introduce legislation early next year.

A discussion paper put out earlier this year received more than 3500 submissions, with 99 per cent of respondents recognising environmental problems associated with single-use plastics, and almost 97 per cent supporting government intervention.

According to David Speirs, SA Minister for Environment and Water, the public response is a clear call to action on single-use plastics.

“In light of this overwhelming community support, the Marshall Liberal Government has developed a plan to ban single-use plastic products and other single-use items.

“At first, we will look at products including plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers with items such as takeaway polystyrene containers and cups next.

“Further consideration would be needed when looking at takeaway coffee cups, plastic bags and other takeaway food service items following consultation,” he said.

Speirs added that the plan, accompanied by the Turning the Tide on Single Use Plastics: The Next Steps discussion paper, is “just the beginning” for South Australia’s plastics ban, and said further consultation will now take place with the community – including advocates for people with disabilities, who often need single-use plastic straws to drink safely.

“The development of a stakeholder taskforce is the next important step comprising representatives of selected business, industry, local government and interest groups to ensure that impacts are mitigated and appropriate time is given for transition.

“Through this taskforce we will do thorough consultation and I encourage disability advocacy groups to be involved to help shape how the ban on single-use plastics might look.

“The community has called on swift action on single-use plastic products and it’s important we deliver this in a way that ensures South Australians, including those living with a disability, will not be worse off,” he said.

The draft legislation will be released to the public for comment later this year before being put to South Australia’s Parliament in 2020.

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