The ban on lightweight plastic bags will officially come into force from 1 June, in line with the first stage of the NSW Government’s single-use plastics ban.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said that consumer awareness and readiness are key to seeing the implementation of this ban going as smoothly as possible.

“Banning lightweight plastic bags on 1 June means we have to think ahead before heading to the shops and local retailers and make sure we always have our reusable shopping bags on us,” Ms Cooke said.

“This plastic bag ban is a move to reduce our impact on the environment and I hope to see all local retailers and residents embracing the changes.

“As we know, it’s the little changes that can make all the difference.”

Minister for Environment James Griffin said all of us can see the impact plastic pollution is having on our environment, which is why these major changes to plastic use are needed.

“Single-use plastic is used by many of us for just a few convenient minutes, but it remains in our environment for many years, eventually breaking into microplastics,” Mr Griffin said.

“We know that single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW. By stopping the supply of problematic plastic in the first place, we’re helping prevent it from entering our environment as litter, or going into landfill.”

In addition to the lightweight plastic bag ban from 1 June, from November the NSW Government is banning:

  • single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds
  • expanded polystyrene food ware and cups
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

The NSW Government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 in November, and introduced the Plastics Action Plan last year.

To ensure small businesses are ready for the changes this year, the NSW Government engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to deliver a comprehensive education campaign to more than 40,000 businesses across NSW.

The NRA is running a retailer education campaign, conducting store visits, and providing online webinars and resources to help businesses make the transition away from problematic single-use plastics.

The NRA has launched a free hotline (1800 844 946) to offer businesses, community organisations and consumers advice on the single-use plastic bans.

For more information about the NSW plastics ban, visit http://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/plastics-ban