The ACT government will declare its public events to be free of single-use plastic, in a bid to further reduce waste sent to landfill in Canberra.
The Royal Canberra Show will also move ahead of legislation when it returns in February next year, voluntarily cutting a wider range of plastic products from the event.
Major government-run events including Australia Day, Enlighten, the Balloon Spectacular, Symphony in the Park, Canberra Day and Reconciliation Day will ban a further array of plastic items.
The declared events will be prohibited from supplying plastic straws, plastic takeaway containers and single-use plastic plates and bowls.
City Services Minister Chris Steel said it had been good to see businesses and consumers make the switch from plastics since the first stage of the ban came into effect in July.
"We know Canberrans want to take everyday action on climate change by cutting down their consumption of these harmful plastics. Progressively phasing out these products helps set a level playing field for industry, business and our community and is accelerating the shift to more sustainable alternatives," Mr Steel said.
Geoff Cannock, the chief executive of the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society, said it was right for the Royal Canberra Show to take further action to reduce plastics, after it was cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Families across the region love the Royal Canberra Show. It's one of the ACT's most iconic and longest running events, so we want to be able to lead by example and show we can make changes to create a cleaner world," Mr Cannock said.
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The ACT government is currently consulting on the second stage of its single-use plastics ban, which would phase out plastic straws, fruit and vegetable barrier bags, cotton buds with plastic sticks and all oxo-degradable plastic products, including degradable plastic bags and degradable dog waste bags.
Exemptions for plastic straws would be in place for people who need them, and plastic straws would still be available at declared plastic-free public events for those who need them.
Mr Steel said: "We are particularly keen to hear from people with a disability and their advocates about exemptions for the supply of straws for people with a disability based on the South Australian and Queensland models. In these jurisdictions straws are still available at pharmacies or care facilities, and in South Australia at hospitality venues upon request, without needing to present any evidence."
Laws to ban single-use plastics in the ACT passed the Legislative Assembly in March and came into force on July 1.
Other single-use plastics such as plastic-lined coffee cups and lids, plastic dinnerware and heavyweight plastic bags are being considered for future phase outs from 2023.
Businesses in the territory face fines of up to $40,000 if they sell or distribute a prohibited single-use plastic product.
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