On 9th September 2020, the South Australian Parliament enacted the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 which aims to restrict and prohibit the manufacture, production, distribution, sale and supply of certain single-use and other plastic products in South Australia.

The Act, which is likely to come into force in early 2021, applies to a number of single-use plastic products, including: drinking straw, cutlery, beverage stirrer, as well as expanded polystyrene cup, bowl, plate, and clamshell container.

As outlined in part 3 of the document, the Bill extends to oxo-degradable plastic products which can no longer be produced, distributed, sold and supplied throughout the State.

Recently, the ABA published a fact sheet outlining our position about oxo-degradable plastics which is available here.

Oxo-degradable plastics are conventional non-biodegradable plastics (usually polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), that have additives incorporated at low rates (2-3%) to cause the product to fragment or disintegrate under some conditions, such as in sunlight or in the presence of oxygen or in an anaerobic environment.

None of these products meet the requirements of internationally recognised and consistent Performance Standards covering compostability and biodegradability, including Australian Standards AS4736 -2006 – Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment and AS5810 -2010 – Biodegradable Plastics Suitable for Home Composting.

The ABA welcomes the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Bill 2020 and hopes that similar legislations will be enacted by other States and Territories in Australia and extended to cover oxo-degradable plastics in other applications such as agricultural mulch films for example.

Copy of the Bill is available here.

GMI Research latest study, estimated the global bioplastics & biopolymers market at USD 3,587 billion in 2016 and projects it to reach USD 7,622 billion by the end of 2021, and is projected to witness a CAGR of 16.27% during the forecast period.

Major factors boosting the growth prospects of the bioplastics and biopolymers market include supportive government policies and regulations due to lesser toxicity and lower amounts of carbon content, growing concern for human health, and the high consumer preference towards bio-based bio-degradable packaging.

In 2016, the Bio-PET market is estimated to surge at the highest rate during the forecast period due to its increased usage in the packaging industry. These have similar properties to conventional PET. Bio-PET helps in the reduction of a product’s carbon footprint and also helps in recycling. The properties of Bio-PET include durability, flexibility, heat resistance, printability, and lower carbon content. This makes it the best fit for numerous applications in sectors such as packaging, automotive, consumer goods, textiles, and agriculture.

The packaging and bottles segment is projected to hold the largest share in the bioplastics and biopolymers market during the forecast period owing to its growing application in food, goods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals packaging. Bioplastics  are being used to manufacture various products such as bags, agriculture foils, toys, textiles, overwraps, lamination films, and disposable housewares, to name a few. The growing global preference for bio-packaged products by consumers is a crucial factor fuelling the growth of the packaging and bottles segment of the bioplastics and biopolymers market.

The bioplastics and biopolymers market is dominated by the European region followed by Asia-Pacific, North America, and the rest of the world. Europe holds the largest market share in the global bioplastics & biopolymers market during the forecast period. The growth of bioplastics & biopolymers market in the European region is attributed to the stringent government policies and regulations, growing concern for human health and an increasing focus from consumers towards sustainable packaging.

Source Link: https://www.gmiresearch.com/report/bioplastic-biopolymers-market.html

The Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee is conducting an inquiry into the Environment Protection Amendment (Banning Plastic Bags, Packaging and Microbeads) Bill 2016.

The Bill seeks to restrict the supply and sale of plastic bags and plastic and polystyrene packaging, and would prohibit the supply and sale of plastic microbeads.

The amendments to the Environment Protection Act 1970 would restrict the supply and sale of plastic bags and plastic and polystyrene packaging and to also prohibit the supply and sale of plastic microbeads. If passed, the Act would come into operation on 1 March 2017.

The change to the Act would prohibit any bag that is made in whole or in part of polyethylene. The only exemption will be a plastic bag that is manufactured, supplied and used for medical or health-related purposes or for policing or security purposes or that is defined as an exempt plastic bag.

The Act will also prohibit plastic microbeads, defined by the Act asa manufactured plastic particle of less than 5 millimetres that is contained in or added to cosmetics, personal hygiene products (including toothpaste) and household detergents.

If passed, the amended Act will from 1 March 2017, require a retailer to display a notice in their premises, stating that the sale or supply of plastic bags by a retailer will be prohibited from 1 September 2017, unless the plastic bags are exempt plastic bags. Penalties will apply in circumstances where retailers have sold or supplied plastic bags in contravention of the Environment Protection Act 1970 from that date.

The amended Act will also require retailers to display notices on their premises communicating that the sale, supply or provision of perishable fruit or vegetables in restricted packaging will be prohibited from 1 September 2017 and penalties will apply in circumstances where retailers have sold, supplied or provided 25 perishable fruit or vegetables in restricted packaging in contravention of Environment Protection Act 1970 from that date.

The Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee sought community views on the detail of the Bill.

“While the inquiry is limited to the Bill rather than seeking to canvas in detail all elements of the issue of plastic bag usage, it is important that the Parliament has a detailed understanding of the implications of the Bill when it is considered early next year,” said Committee Chair, the Hon David Davis. “The Bill, if passed, will have a significant impact on the community and therefore the Committee considers it important that the community has input into the inquiry,” he said.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) provided a submission to the Parliament of Victoria, Environment and Planning Committee Inquiry into the Environment Protection Amendment, stating that it supports such measures and initiatives, however pointed out that alternatives to the banned items should be considered as has already been done in jurisdictions in Australia and around the world, where such bans have already been implemented.

The ABA submission made some key points from the international experience of bans on plastic bags and packaging, to highlight some items for consideration by the Committee.

The ABA submission also highlights the role that certified compostable plastic bags can play as an alternative to the non-recyclable polyethylene plastic bag. With certified compostable plastics being fully biodegradable, there is no risk of micro plastic being available to the environment when disposed of in the required  end of life of composting, whether  commercial or home.

Submissions closed on the 21 October 2016, with The Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee stating that it will present its final report no later than the 14 February 2017.


This very useful Bioplastics glossary has been provided by European Bioplastics Magazine.

Bioplastics (as defined by European Bioplastics e.V.) is a term used to define two different kinds of plastics:

a. Plastics based on renewable resources (the focus is the origin of the raw material used). These can be biodegradable or not.

b.  Biodegradable and compostable plastics according to EN13432 or similar standards (the focus is the compostability of the final product; biodegradable and compostable plastics can be based on renewable (biobased) and/or non-renewable (fossil) resources).

Bioplastics may be

– based on renewable resources and biodegradable

– based on renewable resources but not be biodegradable

– based on fossil resources and biodegradable

For the full glossary of terms click here