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$11,000 fine for these everyday items

Australian money notes and plastic straws on counter.
The NSW government is banning single-use plastic items from next week. (Source: Getty)

The New South Wales government is banning a range of single-use plastic items from November 1, with major fines for people who break the rules.

It follows the government’s ban on plastic bags earlier in the year.

The ban will stop 2.7 billion plastic items from littering the environment over the next 20 years.

“In June, we banned lightweight, single-use plastic bags and, from 1 November, we’re banning some of the most commonly littered single-use plastic items, including cutlery, plates, bowls, straws, and polystyrene food ware,” Environment Minister James Griffin said.

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“About 95 per cent of the litter on beaches and waterways comes from suburban streets, and single-use plastic items and packaging make up two thirds of all litter in NSW.”

From Tuesday next week, the NSW government will ban the following items:

  • Plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, chopsticks, plates, bowls and cotton buds

  • Food ware and cups made from expanded polystyrene (ESP)

  • Rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads, including face and body cleansers, exfoliants, shampoo and conditioner, and toothpaste

An exemption applies for people with a disability or medical need to use single-use plastic straws.

The ban applies to retail and hospitality businesses, such as restaurants, cafes and bars.

Individuals (such as sole traders) who are caught supplying, selling or giving away any of the banned plastic items could cop a fine of $11,000, while corporations could be hit with a $55,000 fine.

Penalties are doubled for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and wholesalers.

Plastic ban to roll out across Australia

Australia is looking to create consistent plastic ban rules across states and territories, following a meeting of environment ministers on Friday.

Queensland banned single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates, unenclosed bowls and cutlery, and ESP containers and cups from September 2021.

It will extend the ban to cotton buds and microbeads in personal care and cleaning products from September 2023.

Victoria’s single-use plastic ban comes into effect in February 2023.

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