You may have heard that as of the 1st of June; NSW is banning single-use plastic bags. The legislation is long and detailed, so here’s the ‘Cliffs Notes’ on the matter. Keep reading for the who, what, where and when to ensure you and your business are safe from the eye-watering $250k fine for those who don’t abide by the new rules.
NSW Environment Minister James Griffin says businesses in NSW will no longer be able to supply lightweight single use plastics to their customers as of 1st June 2022. And to be honest, it’s a decision that's been a long time coming, with NSW being the last of its fellow Australian states to ditch plastic.
What is banned?
Lightweight single use plastic bags (less than 35 micron) will be banned. This includes bags that say they are “biodegradable” or “compostable”. But don’t worry! This ONLY applies to industrially compostable bags, not home-compostable bags (like our HEROPACKs).
As Tamsin Rose writes for The Guardian:
“This ban includes lightweight bags made from biodegradable plastics, compostable plastics or bio-plastics, including those made from Australian certified compostable plastic. A lightweight plastic bag is a fully or partly plastic bag with handles, which is 35 microns thick or less at any part of the bag.”
The ban doesn’t apply to barrier bags such as:
- bin liners,
- nappy bags or
- dog poo bags,
- produce and deli bags, or
- bags used to contain medical waste
Home Compostable vs Industrially Compostable: Let’s clear up the confusion!
Our Hero products are exempt because they in fact are HOME-COMPOSTABLE which does not require them to be treated in an industrial composting facility. All of our Hero products have gone through (& met) stringent requirements to be marked as Home Compostable and be AS 5810 (20070) certified. This means that our bags help to truly promote a circular economy, with our HEROPACKs turning into fertiliser.
Home-compostable products are made of components and materials that fully decompose into the soil of a home compost bin or garden. This includes any printing ink and adhesives!
What’s wrong with these other ‘better’ plastic alternatives?
The government decided to ban alternative materials such as (industrially) compostable and bio plastics– because they often do not biodegrade unless they are treated in an industrial composting facility. Which creates just as much of a problem as conventional plastic.
And there are barely any commercial composting facilities in Australia!
This relates to businesses in NSW, Australia (but all other states have already implemented this change)
This ban comes into place from 1st June 2022 and further restrictions will be announced in November 2022 as part of the introduction of the Plastic Actions Plan launched last year.
Businesses and distributors caught distributing single-use plastic bags will face fines of between $11,000 and $250,000.
Need more help? Here’s some handy resources:
Call NRA’s free hotline on 1800 844 946 for advice on the single-use plastics ban
Refer to this handy article written by Sydney City Council suggesting ways businesses can eliminate single-use plastics and single-use alternatives
To read the NSW Plastic Action Plan click here.
If you’d like to do a little more reading about home-compostable, compostable, biodegradable and all these other weird and wonderful terms, head over to our Hero blog by clicking here.
We hope you found this useful!