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Prohibited Polystyrene Products

These single-use expanded polystyrene (EPS) products are prohibited from March 1, 2022

 

Expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers are prohibited from sale, supply or distribution in South Australia from March 1, 2022.

If you are a food outlet, restaurant, cafe, or catering company you cannot supply any of these items to your customers after March 1, 2022.

Speak to your distributor now about compliant alternatives. Many of the prohibited items can be replaced with reusable, compostable or recyclable alternatives. 

For examples of the kinds of alternatives you can consider, CLICK HERE.


If you are a wholesaler or distributor supplying businesses with expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates, or clamshell containers you must move to only compliant alternatives now.

From March 1, 2022 it is an offence if you continue to supply or distribute expanded polystyrene foodware, and fines may apply.

We have developed free resources to help you educate your customers on why you cannot supply them with certain expanded polystyrene foodware, and what alternatives they can order from you.

The flyers are available in English, Arabic, Chinese (Simple and Traditional), Greek, Hindi, Italian, Punjabi and Vietnamese.

They can be downloaded from our website by CLICKING HERE.


FAQ's


  • What about EPS (foam) trays? Are they also prohibited from 1 March 2022?

    No –Expanded polystyrene (foam) trays (such as those used for packaging fruit or meat) are not currently included in the legislation, and can continue to be sold, supplied and distributed from 1 March 2022 and until further notice.


    Retailers are still encouraged to use recyclable trays and non-plastic trays when feasible. EPS trays have also been identified for possible inclusion in South Australia’s single-use plastics legislation. See page 33 in South Australian Government’s Turning the Tide 2021 discussion paper HERE.

  • What about cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers made from other types of plastic? Are these prohibited too?

    On 1 March 2022, the legislation will only prohibit the sale, supply or distribution of expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers.


    Disposable food and beverage containers that are made from or comprise other types of plastic, such as PP and PET, can continue to sold, supplied and distributed in South Australia until further notice and provided that these products do not contain oxo-degradable additives.


    South Australia’s single-use plastics legislation includes provisions to allow other products to be added to the list of prohibited plastic products, subject to consultation processes. Other food containers, made from other types of plastic, are currently being considered for inclusion within SA’s legislation. For further information, see the South Australian Government’s Turning the Tide 2021 discussion paper HERE.

  • What about gelato tubs? Are these prohibited from 1 March 2022?

    No - EPS gelato tubs used for takeaway purchases are not considered 'prohibited plastic products' on 1 March 2022.


    South Australia’s single-use plastics legislation includes provisions to allow other products to be added to the list of prohibited plastic products, subject to consultation processes. Other consumer EPS food containers are currently being considered for inclusion within SA’s legislation. For further information, see the South Australian Government’s Turning the Tide 2021 discussion paper HERE.

  • What do I do with excess stock?

    • Talk to your supplier about options for relocating stock interstate:
      The legislation does not prohibit the distribution of expanded polystyrene products interstate. Therefore, EPS cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers can continue to be sold and supplied to interstate customers, unless single-use plastic restrictions also apply in those states and territories.

    • Identify disposal options:
      Unfortunately, these items are not recyclable via kerbside recycling bins or in specialist recycling facilities. EPS cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers can only be disposed of via the general waste to landfill bin. 
      Before disposing of these items, you may like to consider whether they could be used for other purposes prior to being discarded. For example, for art, craft and science activities, or for growing seedlings.

    Further information on how to dispose of a range of expanded polystyrene products is available HERE

  • What about any prohibited plastic items I have at home? Can I use these up?

    South Australia’s single-use plastics legislation restricts the sale, supply or distribution of certain products. It does not prohibit the use of items that have been purchased for personal use ahead of the legislation commencing. Therefore, householders will be permitted to use up their supply of any expanded polystyrene bowl, cups, plates and clamshell containers, and any oxo-degradable plastic products they may have purchased ahead of 1 March 2022.


    Before disposing of these items, you may like to consider whether they could be used for other purposes prior to being discarded. For example, art, craft and science activities, or for growing seedlings.

  • How can I correctly dispose of expanded polystyrene products, cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers?

    Unfortunately, these items are not recyclable via kerbside recycling bins or in specialist recycling facilities. EPS cups, bowls, plates and clamshell containers can only be disposed of via the general waste to landfill bin.

    Further information on how to dispose of a range of expanded polystyrene products is available HERE

  • How is the legislation enforced, and what penalties apply for businesses that continue to sell, supply or distribute prohibited products after 1 March 2022?

    Enforcement of the legislation is undertaken by Authorised Officers from the Environment Protection Authority under South Australia’s Environment Protection Act 1993.

    The EPA uses discretion when responding to any breaches of the legislation and can respond to non-compliance in various ways, ranging from providing verbal and written warnings through to expiations and prosecution. 

    If you have concerns about banned products being supplied and would like to report a business, please contact the Environment Protection Authority HERE.

     

    Offences and penalties that apply to prohibited plastic products, including certain EPS food containers, are:

     

    Offence Description


    Expiation Amount


    Max. Court Penalty Amount


    Section of SUP Act

    Wholesaler/distributor selling, supplying or distributing prohibited plastic products in course of carrying on a business as a wholesaler or distributor.

     


    $1,000


    $20,000


    7 (1) (a)








    Person selling, supplying or distributing prohibited plastic products in course of carrying on a business.

     


    $315


    $5,000


    7 (1) (b)








    Person selling, supplying or distributing prohibited plastic products representing that a product is not a prohibited plastic product.


    $1,000


    $20,000


    8

     

  • What about the EPS noodle cups in supermarkets?

    The South Australian government has acknowledged that pre-packaged products, such as expanded polystyrene cups and bowls used to package ‘ready-to-eat’ noodles, will take a longer time to transition to alternatives. Therefore, there is a current exemption to exclude these ‘pre-packaged’ EPS products from the legislation. 

    The South Australian Government will continue to monitor the progress of industry in phasing these products out and may remove the exemption at a later date.

    Further information on this exemption can be found HERE and also in South Australia’s Turning the Tide 2021 discussion paper (see page 34) HERE.