Why are plastic plates and bowls an issue?

Like all single-use plastic items, plastic plates and bowls are designed to be used once then discarded. Plastic does not break down for hundreds of years and ends up in landfill or as litter where it can harm wildlife and the environment.

Items in scope

Plastic plates and bowls (either made from conventional plastic or bioplastics), including mixed materials and those with a plastic or bioplastic lining. Exemptions may be considered.

Benefits of the product

  • Lightweight, cheap and readily available.
  • Available in a variety of colours and designs.

Reasons for consideration

  • Made of plastic that takes hundreds of years to break down.
  • Some plastic plates and bowls are not recyclable in ACT household recycling bins.

Possible alternatives

  • Reusable plates and bowls (such as stainless steel, ceramic).
  • Fibre based plates and bowls.
  • Genuine compostable alternatives that meet the Australian Standards AS 4736‑2006 (biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment) or AS 5810-2010 (biodegradable plastics—biodegradable plastics suitable for home composting).