Phasing Out Single Use Plastics

For more information contact the ARA sustainability team on 1300 368 041 or  

State of Plastics: An Overview

This webinar focuses on single-use plastics bans coming into effect in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia on 01 September2023, and a explores the options for soft plastics recycling. This webinar is exclusively open to ARA Members

Key Changes, by Jurisdiction​

Find out about the timing and scope of changes in each jurisdiction

National Overview

Each state and territory government has outlined their own approach and timelines to achieve the nationally-agreed 2025 targets for waste and packaging.

Click here for ARA’s one-page overview of the changes that have already been implemented and the phase-outs that are still come. 

Australian Capital Territory

From 01 July 2023, the ACT banned single-use plastic plates and bowls, polystyrene trays and packing fill, and products with plastic microbeads.  This follows earlier bans on lightweight plastic bags, plastic straws, polystyrene and plastic takeaway containers, plastic-sticked cotton buds and all oxo-degradable plastics. Further items will be banned from 1 January 2024, click here to find out more. 

New South Wales

In 2022, NSW became the last Australian jurisdiction to ban lightweight plastic bags. NSW also banned plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, polystyrene food service items, cotton buds with plastic sticks and microbeads. Bans on other single-use plastics will be subject to a review in 2024.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory plans to phase out most single-use plastics by July of 2025 but has not detailed plans for plastic lids and cups, plastic-lined paper cups or plastic produce bags. Their full Circular Economy Strategy can be viewed here. Darwin City Council has completely banned single-use food service items since 2019.


From 1 September 2023, cotton buds with plastic stems, plastic microbeads, expanded polystyrene loose-fill packaging and plastic shopping bags which do not meet new requirements will be banned. In addition to a number of items already banned in Queensland. The QLD government has also proposed a new standard for the minimum thresholds for reusability

South Australia

South Australia has taken gradual steps in eliminating plastic, with tranches of newly banned items annually from 2021 to 2024. 

In September 2023, this ban will extend to plastic stemmed cotton buds, single-use plastic bowls and plates and plastic pizza savers 

A number of additional plastic products will be banned from September 2024 and September 2025 including produce bags, coffee cups and thick plastic bags.


To date, the Tasmanian government has only banned lightweight plastic bags and is yet to outline its timetable for the phase-out of single-use plastics. However, the City of Hobart has introduced local bi-laws that ban selected takeaway packaging. Click here for more.


From 1 February 2023, the Victorian government banned drinking straws, plates, drink-stirrers and sticks, cotton bud sticks, cutlery and expanded polystyrene food services items. T There is still ambiguity surrounding the phase-out of produce bags, plastic cups and lids, plastic-lined paper cups, heavy plastic bags, cotton buds and microbeads. Click here for more

Western Australia

WA Plan for Plastics outlines a broad range of single-use plastics banned from 2022 to 2025 including all plastic bags and most food service items. From 1 September, loose-fill expanded plastic packaging, EPS cups and EPS trays, degradable plastics, disposable cotton buds with plastic stems and microbeads will be banned. From 1 March 2024 this ban extends to coffee cups, plastic cup lids (for hot and cold drinks), plastic produce bags and disposable plastic trays. 

Member Resources


Join us for this member-only webinar looking at the state-by-state ban on single-use plastics, with insights from industry experts about what business needs to do to prepare for and comply with these bans. Click here


The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is the organisation charged by government to work with industry to facilitate the delivery of the National Packaging Targets by December 2025. Read more here

Australia’s Minderoo Foundation published its first Plastic Waste Makers Index in 2022, to help consumers and business find out who produces the single-use plastic and follows the paper trail to the financial institutions who enable its production. Click here for more
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published long-term projections about the impact of plastics on the natural environment, with the aim of informing and supporting global mitigation efforts. Click here to download report

Member and Industry News

Woolworths and Big W are phasing out plastic shopping bags

By July 2023, consumers won’t be able to buy a reusable plastic shopping bag from Woolworths or Big W, eliminating 9,000 tonnes of plastic bags from circulation each year. Read here

Coles launches reusable shopping bags made from marine waste

Coles will roll out plastic bags made with 20 per cent marine waste and 80 per cent recycled plastic, made from recovered plastics from inland and ocean-feeding waterways. Read here

Single-use plastic bag ban comes into effect in NSW​

On 01 June 2022, NSW banned lightweight single-use plastic bags, the first item to phased out in the state this year as part of the government’s plan to cut litter and pollution. Read here

Next round of plastics bans for Canberra and ACT announced

Plastic straws, cotton buds with plastic sticks and oxo-degradable plastics will be banned in Canberra from 01 July 2022, as the ACT transitions further away from a reliance on single-use plastics. Read here

WA's ban on coffee cups, plastic bags and takeaway containers​

In 2021, WA announced it is fast-tracking its planned phase out of single-use plastics, starting with plastic straws, cups, plates and cutlery on 01 July 2022. More items will follow in October 2022 and July 2023. Read here

Plastic pollution reduces on Australia’s beaches by 29%​

New research published by the CSIRO confirms that plastic pollution on Australia’s coasts has decreased by 29% since 2013. Despite that Australia, produces 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste each year.Read here

Member Commitments

The following ARA members have signed the ANZPAC Plastic Pact – driving investment and industry-led innovation to reduce plastic pollution in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands region. Find out more and join the pledge here