South Australia has become the first Australian state to introduce laws banning some single-use plastics including cutlery, straws and stirrers. Environmental campaigners say the laws, likely to come into force in early 2021, are historic and will help protect wildlife on land and in the oceans. But the National Retail Association, which represents 28,000 outlets around the country, said retailers in SA had not been given enough time to adjust and the legislation’s definition of “single-use” needed to be clearer. South Australia’s laws mean that selling, supplying or distributing a “prohibited plastic product” will be illegal. On the list of banned items are single-use plastic straws, cutlery and drinks stirrers, as well as polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers. The legislation also lists items that are under consideration to be added to the banned list, including single-use coffee cups and lids and single-use plastic bowls, plates, food containers, balloon sticks, balloon ties, bags and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Exemptions have been put in place for people with a disability or a medical need to use the banned items. The SA environment minister, David Speirs, said no specific date has been set for the laws to come into force, with […]

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