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Single Use Plastic Policy

This document pertains to the Acts, by-laws, policies and regulations being introduced by State and Territory governments implementing prohibitions on the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastics in Australia.

Reward Hospitality is a national distributor and supplier of hospitality products with a vast catalogue of products including products that fall into the ‘single use’ category. We will endeavour to provide the most up-to-date information for your region in our online Australian Single-Use Plastics Bans resource.

We encourage you to visit this page regularly to remain informed about the current legislative schemes in operation in your State or Territory.

It is important to be aware that in some jurisdictions it is now an offence to sell, supply or distribute a prohibited plastic product and significant penalties may apply. The extent of any penalties, as well as the products on the ban list, varies between the States and Territories, so it is important to remain up to date.

Please also note that there are some exemptions for certain markets and classes of consumer, such as healthcare, disability or aged care services or schools. Please read our resource ‘Australian Single Use Plastics Bans for further detail or contact your local Reward Hospitality representative for further help and advice. You’re also welcome to contact one of our friendly customer service agents via online chat or by calling 1800 473 927.


Presently, the Northern Territory has not made any commitments to implement a ban on single use plastics.

However, the City of Darwin has introduced bans on the use of single-use plastics at events on council land, and at Darwin’s markets.

From 1 January 2019, there are restrictions on brining the following single-use plastic items onto Council land, and Darwin’s markets:

  1. Disposable cups (coffee and cold) and lids
  2. Cutlery (and stirrers)
  3. Plates and bowls
  4. Takeaway containers
  5. Straws
  6. Balloons

The advice from the Darwin City Council is that these prohibitions extend to end users, and individuals are required to, for instance, bring their own non-plastic plates to picnic events.


The Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020 (SA), came into effect on 1 March 2021.

Under the Act, it is an offence for a person to sell, supply or distribute ‘prohibited plastic products. Currently, prohibited plastic product means the following products:

  1. single-use plastic drinking straw;
  2. single-use plastic cutlery;
  3. a single-use plastic beverage stirrer;
  4. an expanded polystyrene cup;
  5. an expanded polystyrene bowl;
  6. an expanded polystyrene plate;
  7. an expanded polystyrene clamshell container;
  8. a product, or product of a class, brought within the ambit of this definition by the regulations

It is an offence for a person who sells, supplies or distributes a prohibited plastic product to another person; and prior to, or in the course of, selling, supplying or distributing the product, represents to the other person that the product is not a prohibited plastic product.

A contravention of the ban risks a fine of $20,000 for a ‘prescribed person’ (being a person who is a manufacturer, or who carries on the business of wholesaling or distributing prohibited plastic products). In all other instances the fine is $5,000.

An exemption exists under the Act for single-use plastic drinking straws to be accessible to members of the community who rely on them due to disability and medical needs.

Under the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Regulations 2021, there are also exemptions for:

  1. the sale, supply or distribution of an individual single-use plastic drinking straw at any business on request, for disability or medical needs;
  2. the sale, supply or distribution of single-use plastic drinking straws (i.e. in packs) at prescribed businesses for disability or medical needs, and
  3. the wholesale sale, supply or distribution of single-use plastic straws to businesses for the above purposes or direct to people for disability or medical needs.

As of 29 April 2021, a further exemption applies to the sale or distribution of single-use plastic spoons to medical, dental and other care facilities.

Helpfully, the South Australian government has established the Green Industries SA Business helpline to encourage voluntary compliance with the Act.


Phone: 08 8204 2051.


The Tasmanian Government has not, to date, made any commitments to ban single-use plastics.

However, on 1 July 2021, the Hobart City Council’s Single Use Plastics By-Law 2020 came into effect. The By-law only applies to the City of Hobart.

Under the By-Law it is an offence to provide to any person food packaging that is wholly or partly comprised of plastic and is a single use product. Under the By-Law the following products can no longer be supplied:

  1. plastic cutlery;
  2. sauce sachets (e.g. tomato sauce);
  3. plastic takeaway food containers and lids;
  4. plastic straws;
  5. plastic lined noodle boxes;
  6. plastic lined coffee cups;
  7. plastic lids on takeaway cups; and
  8. plastic sandwich wedges.

A contravention of the ban is liable to incur a fine of up to 8 penalty units (1 penalty unit is current $173 in Tasmania). The By-Law further prohibits the exhausting of existing stock.

Please note that this by-law only applies where a retailer provides or sells food to be taken from the retailer's premises in food packaging and does not apply to other situations.


The ACT’s Plastic Reduction Act 2021 (ACT) commenced on 1 July 2021.

Under the Act, a person commits an offence if the person supplies a prohibited plastic product.

Prohibited plastic products are defined as being:

  1. a single-use expanded polystyrene container for serving food or a beverage;
  2. a single-use plastic beverage stirrer;
  3. single-use plastic cutlery;
  4. a single-use plastic shopping bag;
  5. any other single-use plastic product prescribed by regulation; and
  6. a non-compostable degradable plastic product prescribed by regulation.

It is also an offence where an individual has supplied a prohibited plastic product and knowingly or recklessly represented the product was not a prohibited plastic product.

Contravention of the Act is liable to incur a fine of up to 50 penalty units (1 penalty unit is currently $160.00).

The Act also empowers the Minister to make exemptions to the prohibition. In making an exemption, the Minister must consider:

  1. whether the exemption is in the public interest;
  2. whether the exemption is consistent with human rights; and
  3. whether there will be any adverse effect on public health, property or the environment.

In addition to making exemptions, the Minister may declare a particular public event as single-use plastic free. This means that other single-use plastics may be banned at certain events, beyond the items listed above.


On 31 August 2021, the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Act 2021 (Qld) came into operation. The effect of the Act was to amend the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 (Qld).

Under the Act it is now an offence to sell a banned single-use plastic item to another person.

The Act defines a ‘banned single-use plastic’ item as being a single use plastic it that is:

  1. a plate; or
  2. a bowl; or
  3. an item of cutlery; or
  4. a straw; or
  5. a stirrer; or
  6. a takeaway food container made, in whole or part, of expanded polystyrene (EPS); or
  7. a cup made, in whole or part, of expanded polystyrene (EPS); or
  8. is prescribed by regulation to be a banned single-use plastic item.

It is also an offence to knowingly give false or misleading information about the composition of a banned single-use plastic product. A contravention of the Act is liable to incur a fine of up to 50 penalty unit (a penalty unit in Queensland is presently $137.85).

The Act provides that it is not an offence to supply single-use plastic products to exempt businesses or undertakings. The Act also provides that schools and businesses engaged in the provision of healthcare (e.g. a dental clinic or facility offering disability or aged care) are exempt businesses for the purposes of the Act.

The Act also creates exemptions for single-use plastic items attached to pre-packaged food, for example a straw attached to a juice-box, or a plastic fork included in pre-packaged salads.


The Victorian Government has committed to passing legislation that will introduce wide ranging bans on single-use plastic products from February 2023. It is expected that the bans will extend to:

  1. straws
  2. cutlery
  3. plates
  4. drink-stirrers
  5. expanded polystyrene food and drink containers
  6. cotton bud sticks.

The Victorian Government has said that the bans will not affect medical or scientific equipment, emergency management services, and has undertaken to working with the aged care and disability sectors to develop appropriate exemptions.


The Western Australian Government has announced a fast-tracking of the 2-stage implementation of its ‘Plan for Plastics’.

Recent announcements from the Western Australian Government point to the following single-use plastic products being prohibited by 31 December 2021:

  1. plates;
  2. bowls;
  3. cups;
  4. cutlery;
  5. stirrers;
  6. straws;
  7. thick plastic bags;
  8. polystyrene food containers; and
  9. helium balloon releases.

The Government has stated that for the first 6 months after the implementation of the bans, education and support for businesses will be the focus, rather than compliance.

It has also been stated that people who require single-use plastic items to maintain their quality of life, such as disability or aged care as well as the health care sector will be granted exemptions.

Stage 2 of the plan, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 will include bans on takeaway coffee cups and lids with single use plastic materials, plastic barrier/produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging and polystyrene cups.


The NSW Government has committed itself to the NSW Plastic Action Plan 2021.

Under the Plan, lightweight shopping bags will be banned from 1 December 2021.

Under the Plan it is further anticipated that from June 2022, bans will commence for:

  1. Plastic straws;
  2. Plastic stirrers;
  3. Plastic cutlery;
  4. Expanded polystyrene food service items;
  5. Cotton buds with plastic sticks; and
  6. Microbeads in rinse-off personal care and cosmetic products.

It is then expected from 2024, Plastic bowls (including lids) and plates Plastic cups (including lids) Oxo-degradable plastics Fruit stickers (non-compostable) Heavyweight plastic shopping bags and Barrier/produce bags will also be banned.

At this stage, the NSW Government has not made any announcements as to what, if any, exemptions will apply to sectors such as healthcare or aged or disability care.