Why are plastic takeaway containers an issue?

Like all single-use plastic items, plastic takeaway containers 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

All plastic takeaway containers. Written submissions are encouraged on the availability and suitability of alternatives, as well as possible exemptions, such as bowls and containers with lids intended for the supply and transport of liquid foods.

Benefits of the product

  • Lightweight, cheap and readily available.
  • Can be suitable to transport hot and cold foods.
  • Can freeze and reheat food safely.

Reasons for consideration

  • Used once and take hundreds of years to break down.
  • Reusable alternatives available.
  • Some takeaway containers are made from plastics which are not recyclable in ACT household recycling bins.
  • A number of events in the ACT have demonstrated it is possible to replace plastic takeaway containers with more sustainable alternatives.

Possible alternatives

  • BYO containers.
  • Paper and cardboard containers.
  • 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).