Single-use plastics by-law information

Single-use plastics

The City of Hobart has a by-law that bans certain single-use plastic food packaging.

The by-law is designed to reduce plastic litter and waste going to landfill.

Single-Use Plastics By-Law(PDF, 2MB)

Regulatory Impact Statement(PDF, 2MB)

Single-Use Plastics By-Law Information Sheet(PDF, 826KB)

Certified compostable packaging suppliers(PDF, 40KB)


On Monday 9 March 2020, the Hobart City Council resolved to enact the by-law banning the provision of single-use plastic takeaway food packaging and related items(PDF, 2MB).

The by-law aims to restrict the use of single use plastic takeaway packaging. This is not an expansion on the statewide plastic bag-ban legislation, but a wholesale change aimed at achieving a reduction in usage of and a shift away from single use plastics.

There are a wide range of alternative to single-use plastics. At most festivals and events you go to now the cups you drink from will be totally organic, as are the plates and bowls your food is served on. Alternatives are paper and cardboard based, and plant starch based products (such as corn). These are readily available and widely used within Hobart already.

By-law information

The by-law only applies to businesses that provide or sell food in packaging that can be taken from the premises for immediate consumption.

  • The by-law requires retailers to replace current single use plastic containers which are smaller than one litre (1L) in volume or an area equivalent to A4 (210 mm by 297 mm) in size.
  • All packaging larger than these dimensions is excluded.

Penalties are an essential part of any by-law, however they are a last resort. The penalty unit amount is set by the State Government and increases annually. Two penalty units are applicable for an infringement notice which can be issued by a council officer. An eight penalty unit infringement may apply if the matter is prosecuted.

The by-law does not apply to plastic shopping bags or barrier bags.

Questions related to compostable packaging and waste reduction strategies may be directed to the Cleansing and Solid Waste Policy Coordinator on 03 6238 2711 or

Further information and questions about the by-law may be directed to the Environmental Health Team on 03 6238 2711 or


There is considerable public momentum for the reduction in availability of unnecessary plastic products to reduce environmental impact.

Plastic pollution is one of the most common forms of marine debris and the waters around Hobart are not immune.

The benefits of phasing out single-use plastics include:

  • reducing the impacts of discarded plastic packaging on human health and the wider environment
  • reducing the volume of plastics being disposed to landfill or ending up as litter
  • supporting retailers already supplying compostable takeaway packaging items
  • fostering innovation with respect to the development of alternative products made from natural fibres that rapidly decompose in the environment
  • educating the community and support them to transition to and adopt the worldwide shift away from plastic takeaway packaging.

Compostable packaging is not considered to be a complete solution to litter. Only some of the compostable takeaway packaging currently on the market breaks down quickly in the environment. Solutions to litter lie in effective campaigns that lead to behavioural change which emphasise an overall reduction in packaging distribution and consumption, increased use of reusable packaging and as a final choice, utilising certified compostable packaging.


For more information and resources please view our waste reduction resources page.