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 to which the exemption applies Effective date Overview Exemption 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.

The EPA has issued these exemptions to a specific individual or organisation. Only the named individual or organisation can supply the exempt items.

Organisation/s or individual/s to whom the exemption applies

Date granted

Effective dates

Overview

Exemption

This exemption applies to:

  • HealthShare NSW
  • a local health district within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1997
  • a NSW Health Service within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1997
  • members of staff of the NSW Ministry of Health
  • a statutory health corporation within the meaning of the Health Services Act 1997 and their members of staff
  • a recognised establishment of an affiliated health organisation and their members of staff.

26 May 2022

1 June 2022 to 31 August 2022

A temporary (three-month) exemption to exhaust existing stock of lightweight plastic bags in NSW Health public hospital non-retail settings for specific medical and health purposes, and subject to the conditions outlined in the exemption

Exemption dated 26 May 2022 (PDF 242KB)

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).

Future exemptions 

Certain prohibited plastic items for medical, scientific or forensic purposes

The next stage of the plastics bans will commence from 1 November 2022. Read more about the banned plastic items.

We are considering an exemption to permit the continued supply of some of these items for medical, scientific or forensic purposes, or medical purposes only, where no suitable alternative is available.