Waste action and plastic phase-outs surge ahead
Together with our stakeholders, we are pressing forward to implement the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041, starting from 1 June this year.
Strategy aims to reduce plastics and other problem waste from landfill - Evolve Images
“With so many programs to design and set up ahead of the new waste strategy starting, we appreciate the continued contributions from stakeholders each time we go out to consult. Between closing out Waste Less Recycle More and the commencement of the new Strategy there has been plenty to discuss,” Director Major Projects Kathy Giunta said.
“We really value the time, feedback and ideas that all our stakeholders have brought to the development of new programs and now it’s time to start implementing them.
“One of the next steps will be the mid-year publication of a five-year calendar with anticipated program release timeframes to help industry and communities move through planning and onto action.
“Soon, we will also ask industry and councils for their say on draft changes mandating the separate collection of food and garden organics from households by 2030, and the separate collection of food waste from select businesses by 2025.”
NSW single use plastics bans come into force from 1 June 2022
Did you know that only about 10% of all plastics are recycled?
Problem plastics including soft single use bags to be banned
While plastic is a versatile and useful product, it’s also increasingly threatening our natural environment. Once in the environment, plastics take many years to degrade, often breaking into smaller parts which can kill our wildlife.
In a bid to turn that around, the NSW Plastics Action Plan was launched in June 2021 to manage plastic throughout its lifecycle from generation through to production, supply and reducing plastic waste.
The key outcomes set out in the plan aim to:
- reduce plastic waste generation
- make the most of our plastic resources
- reduce plastic leakage
- improve our understanding of the future of plastics.
These outcomes will be achieved through the phase out of several kinds of single-use and unnecessary plastic products, accelerating the transition to more sustainable and less harmful plastic products by funding innovation and research, and better managing the leakage of problem plastic litter.
On 16 November 2021, NSW Parliament passed ground-breaking legislation to phase out the supply of certain problematic single-use plastic items.
The first stage begins on 1 June 2022 with a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic bags.
The second stage of bans will commence from 1 November 2022 and will apply to plastic straws, stirrers, bowls, plates, cutlery, expanded polystyrene food service items, plastic cotton buds and microbeads in some personal care products. Read more
Campaigns to assist consumers, suppliers and retailers
An EPA-led education and behaviour change campaign will inform and prepare consumers for the single-use plastics bans. This campaign will help to provide accessible information and education on the single-use plastic phase-outs, including information specifically for citizens in culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
The NSW Government has partnered with the National Retail Association to deliver an extensive education and engagement program to help retailers, suppliers, community groups and not-for-profit organisations to prepare and transition.
The National Retail Association education and engagement program which started earlier this year has been:
- providing factsheets and posters
- visiting over 650 retail shopping centres, malls and strips in metropolitan and regional areas, and thousands of retailers in their stores to provide resources and information, and.
- holding online and in-person sessions for community organisations.
They have also launched a toll-free advice hotline (1800 844 946).
More info on future waste management
- $65 million over five years will support the rollout of having separate food and garden organics collection services for households, and a large support program is being developed for local councils. An additional $4 million in funding will support food donation infrastructure and equipment.
- We will soon release the findings of carbon abatement cost curve research to inform future priorities for encouraging take-up of low-emission recycled substitute materials in the NSW waste, construction and manufacturing sectors.
- We are progressing on the design of a new service to make it easier for local councils to jointly procure waste services. The joint procurement facilitation service will commence from July 2022, with $16 million to be invested over five years. It will be voluntary for councils to participate.