Market Intelligence
Waste Management and Recycling Australia Export Potential

Australia Environmental Technology Plastics

Single-use plastic accounts for one million tons of the 3.5 million tons of plastic consumed in Australia annually. 84 percent of plastic is sent to landfill with an estimated 13 percent recycled.  Approximately 130,000 tons of plastic leaks into the marine environment each year.

Since the end of 2022 businesses in NSW were no longer able to supply certain plastic products or have them in stock for the purpose of supplying them.  The following items have been banned: plastic single-use straws; plastic single-use stirrers; plastic single-use cutlery; plastic single-use cotton buds; plastic single-use bowls (except where designed or intended to have a spill-proof lid); plastic single-use plates; expanded polystyrene (EPS) food service items; and certain rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads.

The bans apply to anyone carrying on a business including retailers, suppliers, educational and medical providers, sporting, charity, community groups and not-for-profit organizations, whether a fee for the items is charged or not.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is responsible for enforcing the ban. The NSW EPA has also recommended that businesses with stock of single-use plastic can search for recyclers using a database created and managed by Planet Ark, an Australian non-profit environmental organization.  Planet Ark works with partners in the public and private sectors to reduce environmental impacts.  The database can be found at:

U.S. companies offering waste management and recycling solutions may find Planet Ark’s business recycling database an effective way of identifying potential end-users.

The NSW ban followed similar bans that took effect in South Australia, the ACT, Queensland and Western Australia.  At the start of 2023 Victoria introduced bans.

For more information on the Australian market for resource recovery and recycling solutions please contact the U.S. Commercial Service in Australia: