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Helping diverse communities prepare for further NSW plastics ban

Support and education has been delivered to more than 23,000 businesses and retailers around the state ahead of the upcoming 1 November single use plastic bans in NSW, with information delivered in 15 different languages.

Minister for Environment James Griffin said to ensure small businesses are primed for more changes this year, the NSW Government engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to deliver a massive retailer education campaign.

“Single-use plastic is an environmental disaster, which is why we’re banning some of the most problematic plastics such as bags and straws in NSW,” Mr Griffin said.

“Single-use plastic items and packaging make up 60 per cent of all litter in NSW, and the bans will prevent almost 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from entering the environment in NSW over the next 20 years.

“These bans require businesses, many of which are in hospitality and retail, to change their supply chains, and I’m pleased to see so many have already moved away from plastic items well before the additional bans come into place in November.

“These single-use plastic bans are just the beginning of a major move away from plastic in NSW, and we’re making sure businesses have the information they need to stop using plastics and start using environmentally friendly options.”

From November, the NSW Government is banning single-use items including:

·         plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and cotton buds

·         food ware and cups made from expanded polystyrene

·         rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

This comes after lightweight single-use plastic bags were banned in NSW from 1 June.

On behalf of the NSW Government, the NRA has already delivered support about the single-use plastic bans to more than half of the 40,000 target businesses, and visited more than 560 retail precincts of the 650 target around the state since February.

Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure said the NSW Government is ensuring everyone, especially small business owners in diverse communities, are ready when the change comes into effect.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and we want to ensure everyone knows what they need to do so they are set up for success,” Mr Coure said.

“We also know that many business owners in diverse areas play an integral role in helping inform their broader community about what is happening and what actions they need to take. 

“That’s why we’re assisting business owners with in-language services about the single-use plastic bans in 15 different languages, so they know what to do and can also support their communities through this important change.”

Of the 15 languages materials will be available in, include Arabic, Mandarin and Punjabi.

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