The Australian Marine Conservation Society has welcomed the beginning of South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics yesterday, saying the ban will save the lives of iconic ocean wildlife like whales and dolphins.
Starting yesterday (Monday) single-use plastic straws, drink stirrers and cutlery have been prohibited.
Next year on, 1 March 2022, oxo-degradable plastic products, as well as expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers will also be outlawed.
First state to ban plastic drinking straws and cutlery
This means South Australia has officially become the first State or Territory in Australia to ban plastic drinking straws and cutlery.
Shane Cucow, plastics spokesperson for the Marine Conservation Society, welcomed the Marshall government’s action and urged other states to act with haste.
“[Yesterday’s] ban on plastic means the end of lethal plastic straws and cutlery flowing into South Australia’s waterways and oceans,” he said.
“We thank the Marshall government for responding to ocean lovers, who have been speaking up for years about the deadly plastic scourge killing countless seabirds, dolphins and whales.
Ditch these ‘killer plastics’ across all of Australia
“The sharp pieces of these products can cause serious internal injuries or poisoning if eaten. They can get stuck in airways or cause life-threatening blockages.”
Cucow said the society believed that, with safe and earth-friendly alternatives now available, it was time to ditch these ‘killer plastics’ across all of Australia.
“Our oceans know no borders; we need nation-wide action to truly stem the flow of plastic into our oceans.
“We call on all States and Territories to follow SA’s lead and pass their own laws banning single-use plastics. As custodians of the most beautiful and diverse oceans on the planet, together we can be a global leader in the fight against plastic.”
A lot of work still left to do to clean up our oceans
Cucow also stressed that this was not the end of the road for South Australia.
“We have a lot of work left to do to clean up our oceans. We urge the Marshall Government to match the ambition of states like Western Australia, which have also committed to ban plastics such as heavyweight plastic bags, cotton buds, fruit & veggie bags and helium balloon releases in coming years,” he said.
On Saturday, the Victorian Government announced they will move to implement a ban on single-use plastics by 2023, which will include single-use plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, polystyrene food and drink containers, and plastic cotton bud sticks.
Queensland’s Parliament is currently considering a bill to ban single-use plastic straws, cutlery, drink-stirrers and disposable plastic plates and bowls.