Phasing out Problematic Single-use Plastics

​Problematic single-use plastics (PSUPs) are plastic products designed or intended to be discarded after a single-use and which cannot be practically reused, recycled, or composted due to collection and processing options not being available.

What is the Tasmanian Government doing?

The Tasmanian Government has committed to phasing out the sale and supply of select problematic and single-use plastics and materials in 2025. This commitment includes the following items:

  • Lightweight shopping bags (banned in Tasmania since 2013)
  • Degradable plastics 
  • Plastic straws 
  • Plastic utensils and stirrers 
  • Plastic bowls and plates 
  • EPS consumer containers 
  • EPS consumer goods packaging 
  • Microbeads in personal care products ​

The Tasmanian Government allocated $1 million over four years for the drafting of legislation and development of a comprehensive implementation plan, which includes an allocation of $100,000 to support businesses through the transition and assist them address the impacts of problematic single-use plastics in Tasmania.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tasmania) will consult with the community, businesses, impacted sectors and industry on the approach to implementing such a ban, and will ensure Tasmanians are supported both before and after the phase out of single-use plastics across the State.

In April 2021, along with all other Australian States and Territories, the Tasmanian Government committed to phasing out particular problematic and unnecessary plastic products and materials by 2025. The commitment constitutes one of the seven core targets set under the National Waste Policy Action Plan established in 2019. More information about the Action Plan can be found at: National Waste Policy Action Plan.

What are problematic and single-use plastics?  

Plastic has many attractive qualities: it is low-cost, lightweight, durable and versatile. 

However, the exponential growth of plastic use has put existing waste management infrastructure under increasing pressure, with single-use plastics now a globally significant pollutant in the environment posing a significant risk to marine and terrestrial life.

Did you know?

  • Single use plastics make up a third of the litter we see in our environment 
  • They are difficult and costly to clean up and are a poor use of our resources 
  • They are often used for only a few minutes and generate a significant amount of waste that is difficult for Tasmanian and interstate waste operators to recycle
  • Single use plastics pollute the environment – harming both marine and terrestrial wildlife 
  • Single use plastics contaminate our food and water and also have the potential to  impact human health

At the United Nations meeting in Nairobi in 2023, 175 nations agreed to develop a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution by 2024 - prompting a major step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production, use and disposal

Single-use plastic products are designed without re-use in mind, to be used once for a single purpose before being disposed of.  

Problematic plastics include plastics that are difficult to recover or recycle through commercially available technologies, are easily littered, and often manufactured with potentially harmful chemicals or additives that accelerate the breakdown of a material into microplastics.   

Unnecessary plastics can be substituted with fit-for purpose alternatives or eliminated entirely without causing significant disruption to consumer needs.  

Single-use plastics are often both unnecessary and problematic in nature.  

What can I do to prepare?

In preparation for a phase out on the sale and supply of select problematic and single-use plastic products and materials in Tasmania, you can start by choosing to reduce your consumption of unnecessary plastics and consider using reusable drink bottles, coffee cups, shopping bags and straws.

Be part of the solution:

  • Challenge yourself to using a reuseable coffee cup once a week, or bring a lunch container to your favourite takeaway café
  • Start conversations with your friends and family about how you can reduce you use of plastic
  • Think about what your food, sweets and drinks are packaged in, and whether there are alternative options 


Single-use Plastics