Burien (Washington, the U.S.) banning the use and sale of plastic food service products

The Burien City Council passed Ordinance 709 on February 3, 2020 restricting the use and sale of non-compostable food serviceware products. All food service business must use and provide compostable food service products starting July 1, 2022.

This ordinance applies to all food service businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores, delis, coffee shops, food trucks, and home delivery services.

Specifically, the ordinance:

  • Requires all food serviceware and packaging to be commercially compostable. The products must meet ASTM D6400 or ASTM D6868 standards and have been certified as compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute or similar national or international certification authority, such as Compost Manufacturing Alliance.
  • Packaging that is made of natural fiber (such as paper or wood) is considered compliant.
  • Prohibits products such as Styrofoam take out containers, plastic lined take out containers, plastic utensils, and plastic to go cups.
  • Exemptions to the law include: prepackaged foods, catering trays, produce bags, clear food and shrink wrap, containers from uniquely shaped foods like cupcakes, hot meat item containers, straws, and items that receive a one-year waiver.


The City of Burien, Discover Burien, and Zero Waste Washington hosted a virtual webinar on March 2, 2022 about the law and how to make the switch to compostable products.

Source: burienwa.gov

Single use plastic bags banned in New South Wales (Australia) from 6/2022

From 6/2022, single-use plastic bags will be banned in New South Wales, with more bans set to come later in the year.
The state has joined the rest of Australia in banning single-use “lightweight” bags following the Plastic Reduction and Circular Economy Act 2021 passing.
It’s estimated that single-use plastics and plastic packaging comprise about 60 percent of the state’s total litter.
The government has estimated these bans will prevent 2.7 billion plastic items from adding to the state’s waste pile.
There are exceptions – people with disabilities or medical needs will be provided with plastic straws, for example.
NSW is the final jurisdiction to enact a bag ban – though supermarkets have had them in place independently for some time.
South Australia got the ball rolling in 2009, when it banned single-use plastic bags – with an exception for biodegradable ones.
The state carried out further bans on single-use plastics, such as straws, in 2021.
The Australian Capital Territory banned single-use plastic bags in 2011, followed by Tasmania in 2013, Queensland in 2018, and Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria in 2019.

What is being banned?

From June 1:

Lightweight plastic bags, that is, any plastic bag less than 35 microns in thickness at any part.
This will include bags made from biodegradable, compostable, or bio-plastic materials.
The ban does not apply to barrier bags such as bin liners, human or animal waste bags; produce and deli bags; and bags used to contain medical items (excluding bags provided by a retailer to a consumer used to transport medical items from the retailer).

From November 1:

Single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery, including knives, spoons, forks, chopsticks and food picks.
As with the bags, the ban will include such items made from biodegradable, compostable, or bio-plastic materials. Wooden items are not included.
The ban does not apply to serving utensils such as salad servers or tongs, nor to items that are part of the packaging, such as a straw on a juice box, or a plastic film lid on a bowl.
Exemptions will apply in certain settings for people with a disability or medical need so they can continue using straws.
Single-use plastic bowls and plates will also be banned, unless they are intended to have a spill-proof lid – such as something used for takeaway soup.
Expanded polystyrene serving dishes will likewise be wiped out – these being, essentially, the white polystyrene containers you might get your fish and chips served in at a local takeaway.
The ban will not apply to meat or produce trays; packaging, including consumer and business-to-business packaging and transport containers; or to food service items that are an integrated part of the packaging used to seal or contain food or beverages, or are included within or attached to that packaging, through an automated process (such as an EPS noodle cup).
And, finally, the plastics ban will also apply to single-use plastic cotton buds, and rinse-off personal care products containing plastic microbeads, such as cleansers, exfoliants and masks, shampoo, conditioner and hair dyes, and toothpaste.
(Source: https://www.9news.com.au/)

Canada to ban making, importing many single-use plastics from December 2022

June 20 (Reuters) – The government of Canada on Monday published final regulations to prohibit “harmful” single-use plastics, with a ban on manufacturing and importing most of these items to come into effect in December.

The ban will be on single-use plastics including checkout bags, cutlery, food-service ware made from or containing plastic that is hard to recycle, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws, the Canadian government said in a statement.

Canada said in 2020 that it intended to impose binding standards for how much recyclable plastic content there has to be in products and packaging and added at the time it wanted new rules in place within 24 months.

“The ban on the manufacture and import of these harmful single-use plastics, barring a few targeted exceptions to recognize specific cases, will come into effect in December 2022,” the government said on Monday.

The sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023 to provide businesses in Canada with enough time to transition and to deplete their existing stocks, the government said.

“The Government will also prohibit the export of plastics in the six categories by the end of 2025, making Canada the first among peer jurisdictions to do so internationally,” it added.

Up to 15 billion plastic checkout bags are used every year and about 16 million straws are used daily in Canada, according to government figures.

Prohibitions on the manufacture and import of ring carriers and flexible straws packaged with beverage containers will come into force in June 2023 and the prohibition on the sale of these items will come into force in June 2024.

(Source: Reuters)

The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi Announces Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags from June 2022

Ban will come into effect under the Emirate’s integrated single-use plastic policy.

As part of the UAE’s vision to enhance sustainable living in Abu Dhabi, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced today that its ban on the use of single-use plastic bags will be effective from June 2022, based on its integrated single-use plastic policy that was introduced in 2020.

Through the implementation of the region’s first integrated policy, the Agency plans to gradually reduce the amount of single-use plastic products consumed across Abu Dhabi, and encourage the use of reusable products. In this context, EAD is planning to implement measures to reduce demand for about 16 single-use plastic products that include cups, stirrers, lids and cutlery.

Additionally, EAD is also heading towards phasing out single-use styrofoam cups, plates and food containers by 2024.

The comprehensive policy has been developed to promote a healthy environment and a sustainable lifestyle for all, and to combat climate change by reducing resource consumption and associated pollution.

Since the launch of the policy in March 2020, the Agency has coordinated extensively with its strategic partners concerned with implementing the policy, especially plastics producers and retailers, to ensure effective implementation, as new technical standards for multi-use bags have been set. In support of this drive, a large-scale awareness campaign will be carried out across the emirate to educate the public on the new procedures, helping to activate the ban on single-use plastic bags from June.

Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD, said: “By launching and implementing the integrated single-use plastic policy, EAD seeks to continue the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed, whose deep passion for preserving the environment inspires us in our sustainability journey. We are extremely eager to continue on our path of reducing the consumption of single-use plastics in Abu Dhabi.”

She added: “As part of our plan to completely curb the use of single-use plastics, we are encouraging Abu Dhabi citizens to use more multipurpose and re-usable materials to reduce their environmental footprint. Today, we are introducing a ban on single-use plastic bags in the capital in light of their harmful impacts on the environment and biodiversity.”

She elaborated: “We have taken great strides toward realising the policy’s targets, and have built the regulatory framework to ensure the policy’s successful implementation. With the support of the UAE government and close collaboration with our stakeholders, we are on the right track towards success.”

In the context of implementing the integrated single-use plastic policy, EAD has organised clean up events and awareness campaigns encouraging community members to play a role in protecting the environment while educating people on the damage done by the amounts of single-use plastics and litter and their impact on beaches and marine habitats. The Agency is also targeting private sector companies, providing them with tools to effectively plan for the policy’s implementation.

The Agency has re-engineered its internal procedures to implement the policy and reduce the use of single-use plastics within its scope. Several agency partners from the government sector have also implemented initiatives to support the policy, while many restaurants are also launching initiatives to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics, and some major retailers are encouraging shoppers to use reusable shopping bags.

Furthermore, EAD is conducting a detailed and holistic study for the introduction of an incentive-based, single-use plastic water bottle return scheme in Abu Dhabi, in partnership with more than 30 private and public entities.

(Source: www.mediaoffice.abudhabi)

U.S. bans sale of single-use plastic on public lands, national parks by 2032

The U.S. Interior Department said it will phase out the sale of single-use plastic products in national parks and other public lands by 2032, in an attempt to mitigate a major contributor to plastic pollution as the country’s recycling rate continues to decline.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued an order to reduce the procurement, sale and distribution of such products and packaging on more than 480 million acres of public lands, and to identify more sustainable alternatives like compostable or biodegradable materials.

The measure would help to reduce the more than 14 million tons of plastic that end up in the ocean every year. Under the order, single-use plastic products refer to items that are disposed of immediately after use, like plastic and polystyrene food and beverage containers, bottles, straws, cups, cutlery, and disposable plastic bags.

The U.S. is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic waste. The country’s recycling rate fell to between 5% and 6% last year, according to estimations in a report from environmental groups Last Beach Clean Up and Beyond Plastics, as some countries stopped taking U.S. waste exports and waste levels reached new highs.

The Interior Department said it produced nearly 80,000 tons of municipal solid waste in fiscal year 2020. “The Interior Department has an obligation to play a leading role in reducing the impact of plastic waste on our ecosystems and our climate,” Haaland said in a statement.

This Order will ensure that the Department’s sustainability plans include bold action on phasing out single-use plastic products as we seek to protect our natural environment and the communities around them.

Environmental groups praised the announcement. “The Department of Interior’s single-use plastic ban will curb millions of pounds of unnecessary disposable plastic in our national parks and other public lands, where it can end up polluting these special areas,” said Christy Leavitt, plastics campaign director for Oceana, an ocean conservation organization.

(According to CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/08/us-to-ban-sale-of-single-use-plastic-on-public-lands-national-parks-by-2032.html)

Thailand to ban single-use plastics from national parks

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Thailand bans single-use plastics from national parks for the conservation of natural resources. The Notification of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on the Prohibition of Single-use Plastics from National Parks was published in the Royal Gazette on 5 April 2022 by virtue of the National Park Act, B.E. 2562 (2019).

The notification prohibits bringing and using containers made of foam and single-use plastics including:

• plastic bags with a thickness of less than 36 microns

• plastic food containers

• single-use plastic cups

• plastic straws

• plastic cutlery

The ban has been effective since 6 April 2022 and a fine of up to 100,000 baht would be applied for violation. Reportedly, plastic bags are considered a threat to wildlife as they have been found in the feces of elephants and a body of dead deer.

(Source: https://enviliance.com/)

Scotland’s ban on single use plastics

From 1 June 2022, it will be unlawful to manufacture or supply some single use plastic items in the course of business. We take a further look at what this means.

Plastic plates, straws, cutlery, stirrers, etc. will be banned from 1 June 2022 in Scotland
Plastic plates, straws, cutlery, stirrers, etc. will be banned from 1 June 2022 in Scotland

Following on from the commitments made at COP26, the Scottish Government announced new Regulations that will come into force on 1 June 2022, banning some single use plastic items in Scotland. The new Regulations which have been laid before the Scottish Parliament will make it unlawful to manufacture and supply any of the single use items below in the course of business, both online and in-store:

  • Plastic cutlery (such as forks, knives, spoons and chopsticks);
  • Plastic plates;
  • Plastic straws and beverage stirrers;
  • Expanded polystyrene beverage cups, including their covers and lids; and
  • Expanded polystyrene beverage containers.

The new Regulations apply to items supplied for free and those that are charged for.

It will be an offence for businesses in Scotland to supply these items to other businesses and to individuals, regardless of where those businesses or individuals are located.  Businesses based outside of Scotland will commit an offence if they supply such items to customers in Scotland.

A person or a business found in breach of the new Regulations may face a fine of up to £5000.


The Regulations provide for some exemptions for single use plastic straws. These exemptions cover where plastic straws are used as a medical device, for a medical purpose, or used in the course of a support service which provides personal care or support. Therefore, plastic straws will be available for purchase at pharmacies and certain other establishments such as care homes, schools, prisons and childcare centres will still be allowed to supply them.

Furthermore, the Regulations allow that hospitality venues may supply single use plastic straws for immediate consumption of food or drink, as long as they are not kept in a place visible to customers and the venue does not offer or provide them to customers, unless the customer specifically requests them.

Single use plastic balloon sticks can be used for professional or industrial purposes where they are used for decoration and not handed out to consumers.

Source: dwfgroup.com

Disappearing plastic bags: Vancouver to join other B.C. cities banning them in 2022

Vancouver is set to ban single-use plastic bags starting in 2022 and join nine other cities in B.C. with similar bans

Starting Jan. 1, a new Vancouver bylaw means retailers can no longer provide customers with single-use plastic bags. jpg
Starting Jan. 1, a new Vancouver bylaw means retailers can no longer provide customers with single-use plastic bags. jpg

Shoppers will have no choice but to change their behaviour in 2022 when a ban on single-use plastic bags comes into effect in Vancouver.

Starting Jan. 1, a new city bylaw means retailers can no longer provide customers with single-use plastic bags. Instead, they have to charge a minimum of 15 cents for paper bags and $1 for reusable bags. Single-use cups will cost 25 cents.

Laura Hardman, director of Plastic Free Oceans at Ocean Wise Conservation Association, admitted the ban means people will have to change their behaviour.

Hardman said while the shift may be inconvenient for some, talking about the kind of bags we use at the grocery store checkout is the kind of environmental conversation everyone needs to have.

“If we keep trying to live the same lifestyle where we do know we’re over-consuming and producing too much waste, we’re not going to have the impact we want and live in harmony with the environment,” she said.

Changing behaviour may be as simple as grabbing a canvas bag whenever you go shopping. For others, it can mean putting groceries back in their shopping cart after checkout and then transferring them into boxes in the trunk of their car.

Vancouver’s ban on single-use plastics is part of much larger national and international efforts to eliminate plastic waste from the environment.

Vancouver joins nine other cities in B.C., including Surrey and Richmond in the region, which have implemented similar bans on single-use plastics such as bags.

Across Canada, more than 70 cities have passed similar bans, as have Nova Scotia and PEI.

Jens Allerdissen, the manager at Mother Nature’s Market and Deli in Victoria, said his store hasn’t used plastic bags since Victoria became the first in B.C. to ban single-use plastics in 2018 — even though legal challenges meant the ban didn’t come into full legal effect until April of this year.

He said most customers have accepted the ban, although he admitted that at a store that focuses on organic foods there is probably a higher awareness of, and support for, not littering with plastic than at other retailers.

“That being said, sometimes customers are not happy. They say, ‘Why would I need to pay 15 cents for a bag?’” Allerdissen said. “We’ve always been able to reason and explain why.”

He estimated that about 50 per cent of customers bring their own bags.

“About the single-use plastic ban — make it happen as quickly as possible, everywhere.”

Statistics from Ocean Wise, a Vancouver-based global conservation group, estimate that between five to 13 million tonnes a year of plastics end up as waste in the world’s oceans.

As local governments move to ban single-use plastics, the federal government is proposing a national ban, to join 35 other countries that have instituted similar bans on single-use plastics such as cutlery and six-pack rings. The federal ban isn’t expected to come into effect until sometime next year.

Bob Masterson, president and CEO of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada based in Ottawa, said B.C. has created “the most effective recycling system anywhere in North America.”

He estimated that about 50 per cent of post-consumer packaging is recycled in B.C. — about five times the national average.

“One of the main reasons why that is so effective is that you now have a harmonized approach to recycling across the entire province,” he said. “People know whether they’re at work, play or at home, they recycle the same things in the same way.”

He said the industry believes that a ban should apply provincially or nationally rather than on a city-by-city basis.

“We would encourage municipalities to take a deep breath for another year so the federal regulations will be in place.”

He acknowledged that the plastic industry has a waste problem.

“How do we transition the rest of the country to the B.C. model and even go further?

“You’ve done something great in B.C. as a model for the rest of the country. That’s where our energy is focused.”

Source: vancouversun.com

Lotte to develop seawater-degradable PHA-material

Lotte Chemical aims to complete the development of petrochemical-based PHA production technology and commercialize it by 2023.

 South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. (Seoul) plans to develop a decomposable bioplastic material in seawater for production based on petrochemicals for the first time in the global industry to cut carbon emissions.

Lotte Chemical recently said that it will develop polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), an eco-friendly bioplastic material that degrades 100 % in seawater with a target of commercialization by 2023. The petrochemical unit of Lotte Group is conducting research on the material with a local university in Seoul supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT as well as the National Research Foundation of Korea.

PHA, used in packaging materials, medical products, and cosmetics containers, is currently produced only with microorganisms. It is hard to secure raw materials, resulting in low outputs of PHA and higher prices, since microorganisms, which need processes such as cultivation and fermentation, are used for production.

The commercialization of PHA production based on petrochemicals will allow mass production with petrochemical and biomass raw materials that are easy to procure, Lotte said. That will improve price competitiveness. Demand for biodegradable plastic materials continued to grow with consumption expected to more than double to 2 million tonnes in 2026 from 970,000 tonnes in 2020, said Lotte, citing an industrial forecast.

Earlier this month, Lotte unveiled a plan to invest USD 502.4 million in eco-friendly materials plants at one of its domestic petrochemical complexes.

(Source: https://www.lottechem.com/)

South Korea annouced a detailed plan to reduce plastic waste and increase the use of bioplastics by 2050

Workers sort plastic waste at a recycling center in Busan, 453 km southeast of Seoul, on Dec. 24, 2020. (Yonhap)
Workers sort plastic waste at a recycling center in Busan, 453 km southeast of Seoul, on Dec. 24, 2020. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Environment announced a plan on Dec. 30 to increase the use of mixed plastics and bioplastics and reduce the use of petroleum-based plastics.

According to the plan, 15 percent of plastics for industrial use and 20 percent of those for non-industrial use will be replaced with the alternative materials by 2030. The targets for 2050 are 45 percent and 100 percent, respectively.

Starting from next month, recyclable bioplastics with the same physical and chemical properties as petroleum-based plastics are subject to separate disposal with Bio HDPE, Bio LDPE, Bio PP and Bio PS marks.

The government is planning to prepare a legal basis for waste charge exemption regarding bioplastics with environmental labeling certification, and the exemption is scheduled for 2023. The biomass content requirement for the certification is planned to be raised from 20 percent to 50 percent from this year to 2030.

Starting from 2023, recyclable raw materials must be used by plastic manufacturers as well as paper, glass and steel manufacturers. In the case of plastic PET manufacturers, the use must reach at least 30 percent by 2030.

Source: Business Korea