SA sets out plastics ban timeline

The South Australian government has outlined an ambitious plan to ban more single-use plastics, with almost everything to go over the next three years.

The government will draft legislation to cover a range of items, with its first targets including single-use plastic plates and bowls to be outlawed by September next year.

Plastic coffee cups and lids, produce bags and single-use food containers will get the chop in the following year, along with a host of other items.

The final wave will ban plastic fruit stickers, soy and fish sauce containers, straws and cutlery attached to pre-packaged food from September 2025.

"With dire predictions that our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050, time's up for single-use plastic," Environment Minister Susan Close said.

"Single-use plastics are often used for moments but they last a lifetime in our environment.

"Moving away from single-use items has been welcomed by South Australians, and our community consultation has left no doubt the public expects more action on more items."

The government said the bans would encourage companies to take up reusable, recyclable or compostable alternatives with more than 140 South Australian businesses already plastic-free.

It said the cost of sustainable containers was now comparable to plastic and prices were expected to drop further as demand increased.

"We're building in lots of lead time for South Australian businesses, and there's a range of new programs to assist businesses transition away from single-use plastic into better alternatives," Ms Close said.

"Many businesses have seen the writing on the wall and have already moved away from single-use items to embrace reusable and compostable items."