The Plastics and Circular Economy Act 2021 was passed in NSW Parliament meaning a phasing out of single-use plastics will take place in NSW from June 2022. These new laws will apply to Churches and other not for profits.
This page provides background to the regulations: https://www.dpie.nsw.gov.au/our-work/environment-energy-and-science/plastics-action-plan
This page provides guidelines and outlines some important information:
These points come from the FAQ section of that page (inter alia):
- Regarding Plastic Bags:
FROM 1 JUNE 2022
The supply of lightweight plastic bags (bags with handles that are 35 microns thick or less at any part of the bag and are partly or fully plastic) is banned.
The ban does not apply to other plastic bags such as:
- barrier bags that protect unpackaged food (e.g. fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat or fish)
- bin liner bags
- human or animal waste bags
- produce bags
- bags used for medical purposes and
- sealed product packaging bags.
Accordingly, Congregations may continue to use plastic bags for bin liners and to package food to give out to people.
- Regarding Cutlery
FROM 1 NOVEMBER 2022
The supply of single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers, straws*, plates and bowls is banned.
The ban does not apply to:
- single-use plastic bowls with a spill proof lid
- serving utensils or serving ware (e.g. tongs, platters)
- pre-packaged items that are integrated into the packaging of a food or beverage product through a machine automated process (e.g., straw attached to a juice box, or bowl containing a frozen meal).
* For people with a disability or medical need: Single-use plastic straws may be provided upon request by individuals or organisations who serve food or drinks, registered charities and local government offices; may be given out at health facilities; or may be sold from online suppliers, pharmacies and chemists, manufacturers, producers and wholesalers.
This indicates that from 1 November 2022, the NSW Plastics ban states that Congregations may not hand out plastic cutlery or plates.
Please feel free to contact Presbyterian Church Offices for any further information or to discuss how these new regulations may relate to your particular circumstances.