The Waste Minimisation (Plastic and Related Products) Amendment Regulations 2022 were gazetted recently following approval by Cabinet and will come into force on 1 July 2023.
From 1 July 2023, the following single-use plastic items will be banned:
- produce bags
- tableware (plates, bowls, platters, trays and cutlery)
- straws (with exemptions for people who need them to drink because of a disability or health condition).
Plastic produce labels must also be replaced with more compostable alternatives and be fully home compostable by 2025.
Exemptions for plastic straws
The following businesses and entities will be able to either sell or provide plastic straws (for free) to people with a disability or health condition (if they choose):
- hospitality businesses (eg, cafes, restaurants, food trucks)
- education entities (eg, schools, early childhood centres and tertiary)
- government (eg, ACC and Ministry of Health consumables process)
- charitable entities
- health and disability services (hospitals, medical and dental care facilities, aged care, disability support services, palliative care, respite care, rehabilitation services etc).
Manufacturers and wholesale suppliers will still be able to sell plastic straws to the above listed entities and businesses. Plastic straws will also still be available to buy through online overseas retailers, such as Amazon and AliExpress.
Plastic straws must be available on request only and not on display at supermarkets, pharmacies and hospitality businesses. People will not need to provide proof of their disability or health condition to access a plastic straw. People can request straws on behalf of someone with a disability or health condition.
For more information see: Plastic products banned from October 2022: guidance