Hobart becomes first Australian city to ban single-use plastic

Hobart City Council has voted to ban single-use plastic by 2020.  Businesses within the Hobart municipality will need to start phasing out single-use plastics in favour of re-usable or compostable packaging.

Vegware is delighted to hear of this first step in Australia, and our operational base in Sydney is poised to support clients transition to compostable packaging.

The city will have a period of public and legislative consultation before enacting the by-law either by late 2019 or early 2020 at the latest. Single-use plastic items such as plastic containers, straws, coffee cups, plastic lids and condiment sachets are on the list to be banned.

Small but significant step

Environment Tasmania Director Philip Cocker said the proposed ban was a small but significant step in environmental sustainability for the city.

“I am sure all Hobart businesses will be able to implement the by-law with positive effects on their businesses,” he said in a statement.

This single-use plastic ban is one way to combat low plastic recycling rates. A new study by the University of Technology Sydney, NSW,  found that Australia is recycling less than one third of its plastic packaging waste. Meaning that reducing single-use plastic is vital.

Vegware packaging at Sush restaurant, Hobart
Businesses already on-board

Some Hobart businesses have already chosen to go plastic-free. Vegware customer Sush, a Hobart sushi restaurant, already has its own ban on single-use plastic containers. As Trish Haeusler, from Plastic Free Launceston, says, “A lot of small businesses are already onto this [re-usable or compostable packaging] because they know customers are demanding it.”

Expanding the ban

Councillor Bill Harvey – who led the charge against single-use plastic – says that this new by-law shows, “That we’re serious about leading by example and this is one of those decisions that will have impacts for councils across Australia.”

Hobart City Council has written to Environment Minister Elise Archer to request the State Government implement a state-wide plastic ban.

Watch this space!