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Environment and Heritage

NSW Plastics Action Plan

The NSW Plastics Action Plan - Outcomes for the future

Forming a key part of the NSW Government's NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041, the NSW Plastics Action Plan (PDF 2.1Mb) outlines a comprehensive suite of actions to address plastic at all points of the plastics lifecycle, from production and consumption to disposal and recycling.

While plastic is a versatile and useful product, it’s also increasingly threatening our natural environment. Once in the environment, plastics take many years to degrade, often breaking into smaller parts which can kill our wildlife.

NSW generates 800,000 tonnes of plastics every year, with only 10% being recycled. We recognise plastic's impact on our natural environment and human health, which is why we need a comprehensive and bold response to this important issue.

The NSW Plastics Action Plan sets out the first six actions to achieve four long term outcomes to better manage plastics and reduce the impact they have on the environment.

These actions address each point in the lifecycle of plastics - from production and consumption through to disposal, recovery and recycling.

Let’s Stop It and Swap It

From 1 June, 2022 NSW is banning a range of single-use plastics. Find out what's ok and what's not ok.

Phasing out single-use plastics in NSW

From 1 June 2022, NSW will start the journey to phase out single-use plastic items. Find out what is banned and from when.

Outcome 1 - Reduced plastic waste generation

Action 1: Introduce new legislation to reduce harmful plastics
Action 2: Accelerate the transition to better plastic products


Outcome 3: Reduced plastic leakage

Action 4: Tackle cigarette butt litter
Action 5: Reduce the risk of nurdles enter the environment

Our targets

We are committed to working towards national waste targets including:

  • phase out problematic and unnecessary plastics by 2025
  • ban the export of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres, starting in 2021
  • reduce the total waste generated in Australia by 10% per person by 2030
  • recover an average 80% of resources from all waste streams by 2030
  • significantly increase the use of recycled content by government and industry.

The Plan presents a package of actions supported by analysis of the economic and technical feasibility, costs and benefits.

The proposed actions will allow NSW to become a leader in managing plastics; eliminating harmful plastics, cleaning up plastic pollution and using our knowledge to get the most value out of our plastic resources.

Broader actions in the NSW Waste and Sustainable Materials Strategy 2041 will contribute to achieving our targets.

Background to NSW Plastics Action Plan

Read about how community and stakeholder feedback helped inform the NSW Plastic Action Plan.