What's the Plan with the NSW Plastics Ban?

by Liv McLeod
What's the Plan with the NSW Plastics Ban?
Recently NSW announced a statewide ban on single-use plastics, and Victoria is looking likely to do the same.

Now every state has a ban on lightweight plastic bags (the ones under 35 microns, the kind that Katy Perry occasionally feels like), and most are planning to can other nasty plastic products.

Plastic is evil, and it's pretty thrilling to see these kind of changes being made at a national level.

However, what's gotten people spooked is that this ban also states that compostable and bio-plastics are becoming fine-worthy too.

For those of us seeking alternatives to plastic, and especially those who've just put in an order for some of our Ecomailers, it might have left you wondering if you'll need to dispose of that time bomb ASAP.

The short answer is... no! HeapsGood products, including our Ecomailers, are absolutely fine to keep using under this new ban. If all you needed was that reassurance, great! Run free, and enjoy your sustainable life, you.

But if you want to know more, we'll give you the lowdown on when and where this ban is taking place, and how we know our products are still fully compliant.

What's going on?
Here's a handy-dandy graph to show you exactly what's getting the chop, when, and in which state.
Australia plastic ban nation wide rollout dates
NSW was the last state to put a ban on lightweight plastic bags, but it's coming into effect pretty quick, ditching those and other single-use plastics by the end of 2022. Tassie, the NT and Victoria are lagging behind on banning other single-use plastics, but it's looking like changes could be made there as early as 2023.

While the ban on single-use plastic was a nationwide recommendation, it's been up to the states to decide exactly when and how it will be rolled out.

Unfortunately, that's meant there's been a bit of confusion over timelines, and what's actually being banned.

What about my compostable bags?
Here's the part that's really gotten people scratching their heads: of course it makes sense to ban lightweight plastic bags destined for landfill. But compostable bags? What's the problem with them?

The first thing to clarify is that the government is only banning very specific food market-related industrial compostable plastics, or plastics that have been misleadingly termed as biodegradable.

Home compostable plastics (anything certified AS5810, like our Ecomailers) are A-okay!

Our Ecomailers are bioplastics, but because they can be eaten by thousands of worms from the comfort of your backyard, they're not being banned anytime soon.

It's critical not to see this ban as evidence that bioplastics are as heinous for the planet as normal plastic. Quite the contrary - compostable and bioplastics are a huge step in the right direction towards finding an alternative to plastic packaging.


Why didn't they just say that in the first place?!
Heaps of media around the ban refers to 'compostable plastics' as a whole, but there is a pretty important difference between the two, and not specifying has caused a lot of confusion.

If reading more about the difference between industrial and home compostable plastics sounds like your kind've thing, we have a longer article about it on our blog.

So, what's next?
The National Plastics Plan for 2025 targets that 100% of packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
Which we think is pretty sweet.
You can send that good news to someone in one of our home-compostable mailers, knowing you're still doing right by the environment.

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