The next steps for South Australia’s single-use plastic ban

Monday 06 December 2021
The next steps for South Australia’s single-use plastic ban

A range of different single-use plastic items such as cups, plates and bowls could be next on the list of banned items under the Marshall Liberal Government’s historic single-use plastic ban, with the release of a new discussion paper.

The Turning the Tide 2021 discussion paper seeks community and business views on whether a further range of single-use plastic products should be banned.

On 1 March 2021 South Australia became the first state in Australia to ban plastic drinking straws, stirrers and cutlery from sale, supply or distribution. Under the next milestone of South Australia’s single-use plastic ban on 1 March 2022, expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clam-shell containers, and oxo-degradable plastic products will be banned.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs, who launched Turning the Tide 2021 today at one of the state’s official ‘Plastic Free Champions’ – the SA Aquatic Centre, said the new discussion paper looks at what other single-use plastic items could be phased out in the future.

“I am proud to have led South Australia to become the first state in the country to ban single-use plastics such as straws, stirrers and cutlery but the Marshall Liberal Government isn’t stopping there,” Minister Speirs said.

“We have always said we are ambitious for our legislation and as of March 2022 the next round of items such as polystyrene ‘clamshell’ containers and oxo-degradable products will also be banned.

“The South Australian public, businesses and industry have embraced these changes, quickly adapting and adjusting to alternatives but we want to bring them along on the journey.

“We now invite South Australians to be part of the process to decide which single-use plastics we tackle next. The discussion paper outlines plastics items the public could consider, such as coffee cups, plastic bowls and plates but we want to hear from the community. Importantly we won’t be banning any items unless there are readily available alternatives.

“Our plastic ban isn’t just good for the environment - by being a first mover nationally we’ve already seen businesses who manufacture re-useable and compostable alternatives start to set up in South Australia, which means we are seeing significant economic benefits and the creation of local jobs.

“Our legislation has been developed with the help of our Single-Use Plastics Taskforce which has representation from 15 different organisations, including people living with a disability.”

Consultation runs until 19 February 2021. The discussion paper and a short survey can be accessed via For more information visit

Minister Speirs also said he would work closely with Greens MLC Robert Simms and Minister for Planning and Local Government Josh Teague to progress BYO container laws.

“I thank Greens MLC Robert Simms for raising this important issue, and for working constructively on a new Bill,” Minister Speirs said.

“We want to encourage people to use their own takeaway containers where possible, but there have been concerns raised by businesses about customers presenting with dirty containers.

“In line with our single-use plastics ban we want to give business owners and workers the confidence they need to sell food to customers in their personal containers, helping to reduce waste and protect the environment.”