Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP today announced that local businesses and those across NSW are being given a helping hand to transition away from single-use plastics, thanks to a new partnership between the NSW Government and the National Retail Association.
Mr Ward said that over the next nine months, the NRA will visit retailers across the state, providing factsheets, signage and advice to help businesses make changes, in line with the recently announced Plastics Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021.
The additional support comes ahead of the ban on supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags from 1 June, with the supply of single-use plastic cutlery, straws, stirrers, plates and bowls, cotton buds, expanded polystyrene food service items , and products containing plastic microbeads also ending from 1 November.
Exemptions will apply to people who rely on certain plastic products for disability or health reasons.
Almost every piece of plastic ever made is still with us. More than 2.7 billion plastic items end up in NSW waterways each year - wreaking havoc on the environment and endangering wildlife.
During the transition phase, the Government has indicated to me that it will work closely with our local industry stakeholders across our region to support a smooth change-over.
Our local small business operators need to know now how they will be impacted so that they can begin planning for alternatives to single-use plastics. Not only will this help smaller retailers comply with the new laws, it will also ensure that their customers are aware of the changes that will be occurring.
The NRA has launched a free hotline to offer businesses, community organisations and consumers advice on the single-use plastic bans.
For more information call the hotline on 1800 844 946 or please visit the website at: http://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/plastics-ban