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Single-use Plastic FAQs - Alternative Products

Alternative Products

  • How can I reduce the cost of alternative products?

    Reduce the cost of switching to alternatives by reducing the quantity of the product being used. By reducing the use of unnecessary items provided to customers you can save money and avoid wasting resources. Place stock out of reach of customers, such as behind the counter, and tell staff to only provide straws upon request or for certain beverages that require these, such as smoothies. You could also consider selling reusable items.

  • What alternatives to single-use plastic products are available?

    Please visit the Alternative Items page for examples of some of the items listed below:


    Examples of alternatives include: 

    • For single-use*: 
      • Paper straws
      • Fibre straws (i.e. wheat and rye) 
      • Pasta straws 
    • For multiple uses: 
      • Bamboo straws
      • Stainless steel straws
      • Glass straws
      • Silicone straws 

    *Note: These items must not be lined with plastic. 

    Drink Stirrers

    Examples of alternatives include: 

    • For single-use: wooden drink stirrers 
    • For multiple uses: stainless steel drink stirrer 
    • Cutlery

    Examples of alternatives include: 

    • For single-use*: wooden cutlery.

    Common materials used to make disposable wooden cutlery include:

    • Aspen – chopsticks 
    • Birchwood – forks/knives/spoons and chopsticks 
    • Bamboo – forks/knives/spoons and chopsticks 
    • Pine - forks/knives/spoons and chopsticks

    *Note: These items must not be lined with plastic.

    For multiple uses: metal cutlery; reusable wooden and plastic cutlery 

  • What difference will replacing plastic utensils with non-plastic utensils make?

    Paper and wood products are a better alternative to plastic. 100% paper and wood products can be recycled or composted in South Australia. If they enter the environment, which is not a preferred outcome but we know occurs with single-use products, they will break down in without leaving a toxic trace. Look for recycled or sustainably sourced options, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for paper straws and wooden cutlery. This ensures that paper and wood products do not contribute to environmental destruction or habitat loss. Consider stocking or supplying reusable utensils. 

  • What questions should I ask my supplier when ordering alternatives to the prohibited items?

    When ordering alternatives for the prohibited products ask your supplier if the items meet the requirements of South Australia’s legislation. For alternative food service items (plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery) ask the following questions:

    • Are the items food grade quality?
    • Are there glues or other additives/bonding polymers used in the product?
    • Do the items have a food grade/safe certification?
    • Do wooden cutlery and paper straw products have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification? This ensures that paper and wood products do not contribute to environmental destruction or habitat loss.

    Bioplastic products are NOT acceptable alternatives for the prohibited items

    South Australia’s legislation prohibits the sale, supply and distribution of both fossil fuel derived plastic and plant-based plastics. This means that bioplastic products are not suitable alternatives to single-use plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers. However bioplastics may be suitable for other applications.

    While compostable plastic products can break down in industrial composting facilities, they can cause litter, pollution and harm to wildlife, including marine life, in the same way as conventional, fossil fuel plastic products when not composted.

    When ordering alternatives to single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery double check with your supplier that the items are not made from, or include, bioplastics:

    • Confirm that these items do not include bioplastic, including items lined with bioplastic as these are also prohibited.
    • Avoid prohibited items made from fossil fuel derived plastics such as Polypropylene (PP) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)  
    • Avoid prohibited items made from compostable plastic (bioplastic) such as Polylactic Acid (PLA). 

    It is an offence for a supplier to falsely claim that a product is not prohibited. If the business can prove that it believed on reasonable grounds that the product was not a prohibited single-use plastic product, it will not be held liable. 

    More information

    There are many different types of bioplastics – refer to this website if you want to know more:

    The EPA Guideline for assessing prohibited plastic products under the Single-use and Other Plastic Products (Waste Avoidance) Act 2020 is available on the EPA’s website here: