South Australia’s ban on single-use plastics, such as straws and cutlery, will come into force from March next year.

The measures, the first of their kind in Australia, were passed in parliament in September but were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have also been designed to allow more items to be progressively added to the banned list, with the government targeting polystyrene cups, bowls and plates to go by early 2022.

Fines could be imposed on businesses that don’t comply with the new rules but Environment Minister David Speirs said he didn’t think they would be necessary.

“I don’t expect that to be the case because I think first and foremost, consumers are driving this and businesses by their very nature need to respond to consumers,” the minister said.

“They need to respond to the market in order to grow their consumer base and make a profit by jumping on board, and making this transition, a transition that many businesses have already gone through.”

Mr Speirs said the wider community was fully supportive of the new measures and were “hungry for change”.

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“There has been an overwhelming call from the community for urgent action on single-use plastic products,” he said.

“Single-use plastic products are designed to be used a limited number of times, often away from home, and thrown away, usually resulting in litter, waste and harm to wildlife, including marine life.”

The minister said other states were moving in the same direction with Queensland already debating similar laws.

“We need the bigger states to jump on board to make a real environmental impact,” Mr Speirs said.

AAP

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