A NSW Government website

NSW Plastics Action Plan

Single-use plastics ban in NSW

Learn more about the bans

The National Retail Association are hosting webinars for businesses. Register for webinars

About the plastics bans

On 16 November 2021, the NSW Government passed the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021. This legislation delivers on the government’s commitment to ban certain problematic plastics, such as single-use plastics and address the problem of plastic waste.

Input from over 16,000 people helped develop this legislation and the related NSW Plastics Action Plan. Support for action on plastic waste was widespread with 98% supporting a phase out of single-use plastics.

This legislation provides a comprehensive framework that will help transition NSW towards a circular economy where materials and resources are valued and kept in the productive economy while creating jobs and protecting the environment and the community.

Lightweight single-use plastic bags were banned from 1 June, and from 1 November, the NSW Government is banning further items, including:

  • single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls (without lids) and cotton buds
  • food ware and cups made from expanded polystyrene
  • rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

Future bans

Single-use plastic items not scheduled for phase out remain of concern. However, both Government and industry need to do more work to ensure sustainable alternatives are widely available. We will review further items and the available alternatives by 2024 (3 years from passage of legislation) to determine whether a phase out is appropriate at that time.

The NSW Plastics Action Plan identifies the following items for review, though more items may be added:

  • plastic bowls (with lids)
  • plastic cups (including lids)
  • oxo-degradable plastics
  • fruit stickers
  • heavyweight plastic shopping bags
  • barrier and product bags.

Learn what the plastics ban means for you

Single Use Plastics Ban

Who does the plastics ban apply to?

A person must not supply a prohibited item in NSW while carrying on a business.

This includes supplying the item while:

  • carrying on an activity for commercial purposes. For example:
    • retail businesses like a restaurant, cafe, bar, takeaway food shop, party supply store, discount store, supermarket, market stall, online store, and packaging supplier and distributor, and any other retailer that provides these items to consumers.
    • a manufacturer, supplier, distributor or wholesaler of a prohibited item
  • carrying on an activity for charitable, sporting, education or community purposes. For example, a community group, not-for-profit organisation or charity, including those that use a banned item as part of a service, for daily activities or during fundraising events.
For more information