Many Australian states have passed new legislation to roll out single-use plastic bans from as early as March 2021. South Australia, Hobart, Queensland, the ACT and WA are all moving towards less plastic waste in the foodservice industry first by banning plastic cutlery, straws, and stirrers, with oxo-degradable plastic items next on the agenda but most likely not in effect until 2022.
More sustainable options for conventional plastic items are readily available. BioPak offers certified compostable, and carbon-neutral alternatives made from sustainably sourced and rapidly renewable materials like sugarcane, FSC™ certified wood or bioplastic materials made from plants.
In South Australia however, bioplastic cutlery and stirrers will also be banned. A list of sustainable alternatives for South Australian businesses can be found below.
South Australia is the first state in Australia to pass a Single-Use Plastic ban. In this momentous move, they are tackling plastic waste in the foodservice industry first. The ban covers the below items and all oxo-degradable plastic items. It will be brought into effect on a date to be determined by the government, in 2021:
- Plastic drinking straws
- Plastic cutlery
- Plastic beverage stirrers
- Expanded polystyrene cups
- Expanded polystyrene bowls
- Expanded polystyrene plates
- Expanded polystyrene clamshell containers
- All oxo-degradable plastic items
More sustainable options for all these items are readily available at BioPak. BioPak offers Australian certified compostable, carbon-neutral alternatives, that are made from sustainably sourced and rapidly renewable materials.
Is Bioplastic Included in the Ban?
The banned products include alternatives made from PLA, a plant-derived industrially compostable bioplastic for the cutlery and straws only. This means in South Australia BioPak PLA cutlery will not be an option once the ban commences.
We do however have a full range of FSC™ certified birch wood cutlery. FSC™ certification ensures that the wood has been harvested sustainably and to benefit communities, wildlife and the environment.
Will BioPak Continue to Supply Bioplastic Cutlery in Other States?
While we fully support Single-Use Plastic bans for non-compostable plastics, we believe that some compostable bioplastic products have a role to play, and for the time being, we will continue to supply bioplastic cutlery across the other states.
What’s the Role of Bioplastic in a Sustainable Packaging Future?
Using compostable bioplastic packaging in the foodservice and hospitality industry undeniably helps increase the collection and composting of organic waste.
Single-use foodservice products including cups, cutlery and takeaway containers are often contaminated with food residues making conventional recycling impractical. Compostable packaging allows food waste and packaging to be composted together.
Bioplastics does not solve the problem of littering. However, together with consumer education campaigns coupled with an effective collection and recycling infrastructure, these materials are less likely to end up in the environment.
BioPak, together with the compost industry, have diverted tonnes of food waste and compostable packaging from landfill, including bioplastic cutlery. In Australia and New Zealand, over 20 compost facilities accept bioplastic packaging that is certified compostable.
Bioplastics are an essential part of the circular economy and a fast-growing, innovative industry that has the potential to help us decouple economic growth from resource depletion and environmental impacts.