Current exemptions under the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act

Here you will find current exemptions in force in NSW granted by the EPA under the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021.

Current exemptions under the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act

Here you will find current exemptions in force in NSW granted by the EPA under the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021.

The EPA will monitor any exemptions that have been granted to ensure they are achieving the overall intent of the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act. We can vary or revoke exemptions, and if we do so will publish details on this page.

Current exemptions

 

Plastic item/s to which the exemption applies Effective date Overview Exemption Guidance
Plastic single-use cutlery

1 November 2022 to 31 October 2023, for public hospitals, unless revoked earlier

 

1 November 2022 to 31 October 2024, for ‘exempt facilities’ (such as correctional and mental health facilities), unless revoked earlier

A time-limited exemption to permit the supply of plastic single-use cutlery in certain circumstances and settings.

 

This includes to ‘exempt facilities’ (such as correctional and mental health facilities) where its use is required to help prevent violence, injury or harm (until 31 October 2024, subject to the conditions of the exemption).

 

It also includes public hospitals in exceptional or emergency situations when they are prevented from using alternative cutlery (until 31 October 2023, subject to the conditions of the exemption).

Plastic single-use cutlery exemption 2022 (PDF KB)

For ‘exempt facilities’ (such as correctional and mental health facilities, public and private hospitals, group homes, residential care facilities).

 

For suppliers who manufacture, sell or supply plastic single-use cutlery.

 

Read the guidance.

Plastic single-use cotton buds and plastic single-use bowls 1 November 2022 (no end date), noting that the EPA intends to review this exemption after two years (1 November 2024), but may still review it at any time.
An ongoing exemption (with a 2 year review period) to permit the supply of plastic single-use cotton buds and bowls where used for medical, scientific or forensic purposes, subject to the conditions of the exemption.
Plastic single-use cotton buds and plastic single-use bowls exemption 2022 (PDF 108KB)

For suppliers who sell, supply or use plastic single-use cotton buds or bowls.

Read the guidance.

Plastic lined paper plates and bowls 1 November 2022 to 31 October 2024  A time-limited exemption to permit the supply of plastic lined paper plates and bowls while suitable alternatives are sourced. Plastic lined paper plates and bowls exemption 2022 (PDF 59KB)

For suppliers, manufacturers and community members who sell, supply or use plastic lined paper plates and bowls.

Read the guidance.

Plastic single-use straws

1 November 2022 (no end date)

An ongoing exemption to permit the supply of plastic-single use straws by certain businesses and organisations to individuals who need a plastic single-use straw due to a disability or other medical need, or individuals/organisations acting on behalf of such an individual.

Plastic Single-Use Straw Exemption 2022 (PDF 63KB)

For suppliers of plastic single-use straws and individuals who need a plastic single-use straw due to a disability or other medical need, and those acting on their behalf.

Read the guidance.

There are no current exemptions that have been granted to a specific individual or organisation.

Complying with an exemption

  • Read all sections of the relevant exemption carefully before supplying* a prohibited plastic item.
  • Email the EPA at plastics@epa.nsw.gov.au as soon as you become aware that you have not complied with any requirement or conditions of an exemption.
  • If required to do so, keep records for the period specified in the exemption.

* Supply of a banned item includes to (whether a fee is charged or not):

  • sell, supply, resupply or distribute

  • receive or possess for the purpose of supply

  • offer to supply (such as in advertising, websites and brochures)

  • display, provide or make the item available to a person (such as via on counter access).