Aus state to ban single-use plastic bags

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Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state is gearing up to institute its total ban on single-use plastic bags as it looks to slowly phase out all single-use packaging.

From June 1, all single-use bags would be banned in the state, meaning businesses and individuals will need to find alternatives in reusable plastic or non-plastic bags, reports Xinhua news agency.

NSW Minister for Environment James Griffin said single-use plastics make up 60 per cent of all the state’s rubbish, and as such it would be crucial to transition away from them.

“I think all of us can see the impact plastic pollution is having on our environment, which is why we’re making major changes in New South Wales this year.”

The state will also ban a slew of other single-use plastics from November, among them is plastic cutlery, plates, polystyrene cups, plastic straws, and cotton buds.

“We each have the power to make positive environmental change at an individual level, and I encourage everyone to choose to go plastic-free as often as they can.”

Overall, the staged phase-out of plastic is projected to prevent almost 2.7 billion plastic items from entering the environment over the next 20 years.

The state has already begun to support over 40,000 small businesses with the phase-out.

“The NSW government has worked with stakeholders to support small businesses to understand how they will be affected, how to comply with new laws and what alternatives they can use to single-use plastics,” said state Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos.

The ruling makes NSW the last Australian state or territory to put into effect its ban of single-use plastic bags.

As a nation, Australia is set to phase out “problematic single-use plastics” by 2025.

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