South Australia recently started conversations with the public sector and industries to consider banning single-use plastics such as plastic straws.
Environment minister David Speirs has published two papers to spark discussion and seek views from South Australians regarding single-use plastics. The reason behind these papers is to find ways to reduce the environmental impact of litter on the environment.
One of the papers mentioned "Turning the tide on single-use plastic products" suggesting that state laws can also be used to ban other single-use plastic products just like lightweight plastic bags that have been banned earlier.
Environment Minister David Speirs said: "I think we should have a serious discussion about it with consumers and industry and I look forward to hearing what South Australians have to say about this.".
It is about time that we all have some serious conversations about our love for plastics. Don't you think so?
If you are wondering what you can do and live in South Australia or know people who do have a look at:
It would be very interesting to see what the general discussion will lead to and what the SA government will do with the outcome of the discussion.
It might even lead to the state government to further think through and come up with a ban on single-use plastic straws. People can actually cope better than first expected with small changes of habit, similar to banning lightweight plastic bags, especially if there are better alternatives for single-use plastics, such as bags, straws and cutlery.
We would love to hear what you think about this suggested ban, let us know in the comments or send us an email.
South Australia might be the first Australian state considering a ban on single-use plastics like straws. However, there are plenty of other places around the world that are already a couple steps ahead. The European Union is a good example of a ban on single-use plastics
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed a proposal to ban single-use plastics by 2021. Also under this proposed plan, 90% of all plastic bottles need to be recycled by 2025.
Much of plastic waste ends up being washed in our oceans, where it could take lifetimes to fully degrade, if at all. Lightweight single-use plastics are among the most problematic because they can travel for long distances, whilst absorbing toxins and continuously damage marina flora and fauna.
What you can do
There are so many things that you can do that actively contribute to decreasing plastic waste and create a change in our plastic habits. Have a look at the below section for some inspiration:
- Ensure you look closely at the single-use plastic you and your household uses on a daily basis. Try to find easy fixes by using alternatives for the plastic products you use.
- Pick up litter every time you are out and about. Initiatives such as Take 3 For The Sea have been world changing in this. If everyone would just take 3 pieces of rubbish every time they are out, imagine the impact it can have.
- Get involved in clean-ups. Join local clean-up organisations and groups such as the Beach Patrol groups around Melbourne.
- Equip yourself with alternatives for single-use plastics, such as our bamboo straws or reusable coffee cups because plastic straws and single-use coffee cups are the most commonly found items on clean-ups.
- Just say no to plastic. If you don’t have your reusable cup with you when wanting a takeaway coffee, just have it right there and then in an actual cup. If we all would say no to these “easy” plastic items we could go a long way.