Single-use plastics

Single-use plastics ban: Plastic waste sorted

Single-use plastic items are designed to be used once and then thrown away. They are seen as cheap and convenient but they are bad for the environment and problematic in our waste management systems.

Canberrans have embraced action on single-use plastics, with many items already banned across tranche 1 and 2.

New items banned in tranche 3

From 1 January 2024:

  • heavyweight and boutique plastic bags. The ban applies to all plastic shopping bags with handles, regardless of thickness.

This is in addition to the single-use plastic items already banned in the ACT.

  • single-use plastic plates and bowls
  • expanded polystyrene loose fill packaging and expanded polystyrene trays
  • plastic microbeads in rinse-off personal care and cleaning products
  • single-use plastic straws (with exemptions for those who need them due to a disability or health need)
  • cotton buds with plastic sticks
  • all oxo-degradable plastics. These contain additives that cause them to break down into microplastics which are harmful to the environment. They are often used in products like dog waste bags and rubbish bags and can be labelled as degradable.
  • single-use plastic cutlery
  • single-use plastic stirrers
  • expanded polystyrene takeaway food and beverage containers
  • single-use plastic shopping bags at or below 35 micrometres in thickness.
Bioplastics alternatives are also banned

Bioplastics are a type of plastic made from plant-based resources instead of crude oil. They too can cause the damage to the environment if littered.

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