Two state governments in Australia are setting an example of how to fight the crisis created by single-use plastics. The states of New South Wales and Western Australia are racing each other in passing legislation that will aim to reduce the material to zero in their states by this year.
New South Wales had first introduced the complete ban on microbeads, plastic cotton buds, disposable plastic cutlery and straws, and light plastic bags from 2022. The major goal is to decrease the litter from plastics by almost one-third by 2025. It is also a part of a plan over five years worth $356Mn. It will include each home receiving a “green” bin where organic and food waste can be disposed of.
Western Australia revealed its plans in a span of hours. The response included Mark McGowan, the premier of WA, claiming that they will reach the goal in one year, instead of five.
The Reaction To The Single-Use Plastics Plans
The Australian branch of the WWF heaped praise on the race between the two governments to reach the top in measures for single-use plastic waste. At the end of the day, the environment was receiving terrific help. However, they did point out that NSW can hasten their targets since most other states have already such deadlines.
The phasing out that NSW is planning for single-use plastics will occur over two waves. First, within a year of the legislation passing, the smaller daily products such as straws, sticks, buds, microbeads are going to be gradually removed. Then in a period of 3 years, medium-sized single-use plastics like bowls, cups, and supermarket bags will be removed. However, those who depend on single-use plastics for their health shall be exempted.
Meanwhile, WA will see most of such materials be phased out by the end of 2021 – much earlier than 2025. Amber-Jade Sanderson, the environment minister of WA, said that nothing much will change for the people with the ban.
Be that as it may, both governments are also focusing on other types of waste. For example, NSW’s plan for organic waste using “green” bins should drastically reduce landfill usage. A lesson for major countries around the world.