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 four 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 certain 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.
Phase-out of single use plastic items
Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021
On 16 November 2021, NSW Parliament passed ground-breaking legislation to phase out the supply of certain problematic single-use plastic items and set a design standard to prevent the supply of plastic microbeads from some rinse off personal care products.
The EPA is the sole regulator of the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 .
This crucial legislation will phase-out the supply of the following items in NSW
- Lightweight plastic bags from 1 June 2022
- Single-use plastic straws*, cutlery (including plastic chopsticks and sporks), stirrers, plates, bowls, cotton buds, and expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items from 1 November 2022
- Plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care products from 1 November 2022
*The EPA intends to grant an exemption relating to the supply of single-use plastic straws to ensure people with a disability or other medical need can continue to access them. The detail of the exemption will be developed in consultation with the disability sector and other impacted stakeholders.
As the sole regulator for the Act, the EPA plays a pivotal role in delivering this ground-breaking legislation including by regulating and monitoring certain types of plastic items supplied into or within NSW.
To support the other key outcomes from the NSW Plastics Action Plan , the EPA will also provide incentives for industry to encourage greater innovation and investment in sustainable alternatives and increase the reuse and recovery of plastics.
The EPA will be working with stakeholders, such as suppliers and retailers, in raising awareness and ensuring compliance with the phase-outs.
This important work ensures we continue to deliver on our purpose to ensure a healthy and thriving environment for the future.