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.