What is being banned and when?

Each Government agency, whether Federal, State or Territory is bringing in bans at different times, and they are each choosing to prioritise different products or packaging types. We have summarised the details in the table below, however there are some themes.

Plastic items to be phased out are generally those that are used only once, are not recyclable and there is a more sustainable alternative readily available.

The most commonly banned items include single use plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers as well as foam food containers like drinking cups and clamshells.

Why are some plastics being banned?

Plastics are a part of our everyday life; they are convenient and used in many applications. There is however, growing consumer awareness of the issues posed by some plastic and packaging waste. Many single-use plastics aren’t recyclable so end up in landfill and if used outside of the home can sometimes become litter.

To address the issues associated with some single-use plastics, Australian and New Zealand governments are implementing a series of actions to address the plastics problem.

Individual Australian States and Territories, and New Zealand  are introducing legislation that prohibits the sale, supply and distribution of certain single-use plastic products and establishes a framework for adding other products in the future.

The Federal Government has also stepped in with a National Plastics Plan that includes among other actions the phasing out of some EPS foam products.

What is being banned where?

The table below shows the bans in each State and Territory as well as products or packaging listed in the National Plastics Plan. 


Single-use Plastic Legislation

Legend Policy Certainty Still being determined Enacted National Plastics Plan Voluntary


single use plastics - table

How Bunzl is helping our customers

Bunzl is taking a proactive approach to the banning of some single-use plastics. As a global business, we have experienced single-use plastic bans in other markets that we operate in, such as the UK and Europe. In Australia, we are now drawing upon that experience to work with our customers and suppliers towards a more sustainable approach.

Our sourcing team are working with our suppliers to ensure our range meets any of the requirements. First and foremost, to transition from problematic single-use plastics but also to offer products that support a circular economy. These include products that contain recycled content, are made from renewable materials, are recyclable or compostable. Where no suitable product exists, we search for a more sustainable solution.

Our sustainability experts are following the progress being made to ensure we have a strong understanding of which products will be phased out in each jurisdiction.

We understand that progress takes time. We are here to support you in every step of your sustainability journey and will work together to ensure your product range meets your sustainability objectives. Contact one of our sustainability experts today: sustainability@bunzl.com.au

How Bunzl is helping our customers