Australia is to phase out the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging as part of the National Plastic Plan.
Loose fill and single-use moulded EPS in consumer packaging will be phased out by July next year, while consumer food and beverage containers will be gone by December next year.
The Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) has listed EPS as problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic in certain consumer applications. The removal of EPS will be implemented through design, innovation and using alternative materials.
According to APCO, there are limited drop-off services available to consumers, and being lightweight and fragile, EPS can have a significant impact on the environment when littered.
Fast-tracked phase outs will not apply to EPS used for business-to-business packaging and in building and construction business-to-consumer packaging where there is a demonstrated and effective reuse model in operation.