From March 1, 2021 single-use plastic drinking straws will continue to be available for members of the community who rely on these for disability or health needs.
The legislation has a specific provision which provides an exemption for plastic straws through regulations, which are being finalised.
The exemption allows single-use plastic drinking straws to be sold, supplied and distributed through the following:
- Any business can choose to supply individual single-use plastic drinking straws on request, due to disability or medical needs (straws cannot be on display or freely accessible); and
- ‘Prescribed businesses’ can choose to sell and supply single-use plastic drinking straws (i.e. in packs); and
- Wholesalers and distributors can supply and distribute single-use plastic straws for the above purposes.
Further information on the exemptions can be found here.
The following businesses have been identified as ‘prescribed businesses':
- Local Government offices
- Medical, dental, and care facilities
Consultation with organisations representing the prescribed businesses, as well as suppliers and distributors is being undertaken to ensure that single-use plastic drinking straws remain available to people who require them, following commencement of the legislation.