Govt Plastic cutlery and polystyrene cups would be banned from July next year under a revised timeline for the phasing out of single-use plastics in the ACT.
The ACT government had intended to start phasing out certain types of plastics as soon as this year, but those plans were put off as businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector, struggled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
City Services Minister Chris Steel will confirm the new time frame on Thursday, as he presents an exposure draft of laws to ban the sale and distribution of single-use plastics to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Single-use plastic cutlery, stirrers, polystyrene food and beverage containers and "clamshell" takeaway containers would be banned from July 2021, under the government's proposal.
Mr Steel said plastic fruit and vegetable barrier bags would be phased out in 2022. Plastic straws would also be banned in 2022, however they would still be available to people with a disability who required them.
Under the draft laws, people would face fines of up to $8000 for selling or distributing a so-called prohibited plastic product.
The bill would also give the minister the power to declare an event, such as Floriade or the National Multicultural Festival, "plastic free".
Mr Steel said the legislation would mean "plastic free" events became common place in the ACT, rather than a "nice, one-off to do".
Mr Steel said the proposed transition period recognised that some hospitality and events businesses were either in hibernation or struggling to keep their doors open amid the pandemic. They might also have existing stock of plastics which they needed to use, he said.
Mr Steel said the government would continue to consult on the proposal before tabling a final bill to the ACT Legislative Assembly later this year.
There are just three sitting days left in this parliamentary term, including Thursday. The sitting calendar post the October 17 election won't be set until the next ACT government is formed.
Mr Steel said the release of the exposure draft effectively signaled the start of the transition period.
"This is just the start," Mr Steel said.
"Producers and suppliers of single-use plastic products, that are not designed to be economically recycled here in the ACT, are on notice."
Mr Steel said the bill would set out the framework to ban other "problematic and unnecessary" plastic products in the future, subject to consultation.