A guide to single-use plastic bans in Australia

Single-use plastics are gradually being phased out in each state, in line with APCO’s 2025 Packaging Targets. These regulations on single-use plastic bans are regularly being updated as individual states align themselves with the targets. We’ve gathered together information from APCO on the latest bans Australia-wide and in New Zealand to help keep you informed, and as a cafe owner or roaster, to understand what the bans in your state mean for your business and what t0 do to ensure you’re meeting current regulations.

Single-use plastics are gradually being phased out in each state, in line with APCO’s 2025 Packaging Targets. These regulations on single-use plastic bans are regularly being updated as individual states align themselves with the targets.

We’ve gathered together information from APCO on the latest bans Australia-wide and in New Zealand to help keep you informed, and as a cafe owner or roaster, to understand what the bans in your state mean for your business and what to do to ensure you’re meeting current regulations.

Once you’ve read the below, here are some quick steps to take:

  • Make sure you’re switching any EPS (expanded polystyrene) packaging to more sustainable options

  • If plastic coffee cups are being phased out in your state soon, make sure you investigate home compostable cup options that align with Australian certifications (hint: ours do!)

  • Shift plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers to approved paper or other rapidly renewable material options

Not sure what packaging to switch to, or just need some advice along the journey? Book a 15-min virtual coffee wth Russ, our resident sustainability and coffee packaging expert, for some friendly guidance!

Please note: While the information in this blog post has been obtained from the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, we recommend that you supplement this information with your own research given that new information is regularly released.

STATE-BY-STATE PLASTIC BAN BREAKDOWN

NEW SOUTH WALES

What is already banned:

  • Lightweight plastic bags

  • Plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers and swizzle sticks

  • Plastic plates and plastics bowls without lids

  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foodware and cups

  • Microbeads and cotton buds with plastic shafts

Next stage of ban:

Not yet communicated

VICTORIA

What is already banned:

  • Lightweight plastic bags

  • Plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers and swizzle sticks

  • Plastic plates

  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foodware and cups

  • Helium balloon releases

  • Cotton buds with plastic shafts

Next stage of ban:

Not yet communicated

QUEENSLAND

What is already banned:

  • Lightweight plastic shopping bags

  • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags

  • Plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers and swizzle sticks

  • Plastic plates and plastics bowls without lids

  • Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foodware and cups

  • Other EPS consumer food and beverage containers (e.g. gelato tubs)

  • EPS loose packaging

  • Helium balloon releases

  • Microbeads

  • Cotton buds with plastic shafts

Next stage of ban:

Possible ban from 1 September 2024:

  • Plastic cups for cold beverages that are non-recyclable and non-compostable

  • Plastic cups for hot beverages that are non-recyclable and non-compostable

  • EPS trays that are non-recyclable and non-compostable

  • Barrier/produce bags (fruit and vegetable)

  • Balloon sticks or ties

  • PVC pre-formed food trays and containers

  • Plastic bread tags

Possible ban from 1 September 2025:

  • Plastic containers without lids

  • Plastic lids for cups

  • Bait bags

Possible ban from 1 September 2026:

  • Sachets or packets

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

What is already banned:

    • Plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers

    • Plastic plates

    • Plastic bowls without lids

    • Plastic containers without lids

    • Plastic cups for cold beverages that aren’t compostable or recyclable. Banned cups include those made from compostable, biodegradable and degradable plastics

    • EPS foodware

    • EPS cups

    • EPS trays

    • EPS loose packaging

    • Lightweight plastic shopping bags

    • Paper shopping bags made of plastic laminate with handles

    • Plastic shopping bag made from plastic or bioplastic film with handles

    • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags

    • Helium balloon releases

    • Microbeads

    • Cotton buds with plastic shafts

    • Plastics with ‘degradable’ additives (e.g. oxo- degradable)

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Next stage of ban:

From 1 March 2024:

      • Plastic cups for hot beverages that aren’t certified compostable to Australian standard or recyclable

      • Plastic lined coffee cups

      • Plastic lids for cups

      • Plastic trays for takeaway food

      • Barrier/produce bags (fruit and vegetables)

      • Plastic promotional film (TBC)

From 1 September 2024

      • Plastic lids for takeaway food containers, bowls, plates and trays (excl. AU certified lined paper lids)

      • Plastic takeaway food containers with lids

      • Plastic lined cartons (e.g. noodle box)

From 1 July 2025

      • EPS (moulded)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

What is already banned:

      • Plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers

      • Plastic plates

      • Plastic bowls without lids

      • EPS foodware

      • EPS cups

      • Lightweight plastic bags

      • Cotton buds with plastic shafts

      • Plastic pizza savers

      • Plastics with ‘degradable’ additives (e.g. oxo- degradable)

Next stage of ban:

From 1 September 2024:

      • Plastic containers without lids

      • Plastic takeaway food containers with lids

      • Plastic cups for cold beverages

      • Plastic cups for hot beverages

      • Plastic lined coffee cups

      • Plastic lids for cups

      • EPS trays (used for meat, fruit & other food items)

      • Other EPS consumer food & beverage containers (e.g. gelato tubs)

      • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags

      • Barrier/produce bags (fruit & vegetable)

      • Balloon sticks or ties

      • Plastic confetti

      • Plastic bread tags

From 1 September 2025

      • Pre-packaging & attached products (i.e. products that contain plastic straws or cutlery)

      • Plastic fruit stickers

      • Plastic soy sauce fish

TASMANIA

What is already banned (Note: Hobart only):

      • Plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers

      • Plastic bowls without lids

      • Plastic containers without lids

      • Plastic takeaway food containers with lids

      • Plastic lined cartons (e.g. noodle box)

      • Plastic tubs (e.g. sandwich wedges)

      • Plastic cups for cold beverages

      • Plastic cups for hot beverages

      • Plastic lined coffee cups

      • Plastic lids for cups

Statewide ban:

      • Sachets or packets

Next stage of ban:

Not yet announced

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT)

What is already banned:

      • Plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers

      • Plastic plates

      • Plastic bowls without lids

      • EPS foodware

      • EPS cups

      • EPS trays

      • EPS loose packaging

      • Lightweight plastic shopping bags

      • Microbeads

      • Cotton buds with plastic shafts

      • Plastics with ‘degradable’ additives (e.g. oxo- degradable)

Next stage of ban:

1 January 2024

      • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags

NORTHERN TERRITORY

What is already banned:

      • Lightweight plastic shopping bags

Next stage of ban:

By 2025

      • Plastic straws

      • Plastic cutlery

      • Plastic stirrers

      • Plastic plates

      • Plastic bowls without lids

      • EPS foodware

      • EPS cups

      • EPS trays

      • EPS loose packaging

      • EPS moulded

      • Heavyweight plastic bags

      • Helium balloons

      • Microbeads

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