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Exemptions Update

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 will allow 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,; 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.

This approach is in response to the government’s consultation with the single-use plastic stakeholder taskforce. This taskforce has representatives of state and local government, industry, hotel, retailer, restaurant and catering, disability and environmental organisations.

The following businesses have been identified as a ‘prescribed businesses:

  • Pharmacies
  • Local Government offices
  • Charities
  • 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.