Sustainable SA

South Australia is committed to do things differently. And we’re leading the way with the circular economy, sustainability, green power, sustainable building, liveability and more. Explore how we’re working not only for South Australians, but for the world.


South Australia excels in recycling and is regarded among the world leaders in waste management. Over 75% of all waste generated in the state is diverted from landfills and alternatively recycled or composted. SA leads the nation with the highest recycling rate and the best per capita resource recovery rate, thanks to the ban on single-use plastic bags, 10-cent container deposits and other initiatives. The diversion waste in South Australia annually equates to the planting of 2 million trees or removing 302,000 cars from roads.


Transforming how electricity is produced is an ongoing project where South Australia makes headway. Triumphs in providing renewable energy from combined wind and solar generation saw 99.6% of the grid catered for on 27 December 2020 ! Prior to that, for just over an hour, on 11 October 2020, 100% of the states’ energy demands were met solely through solar panels. Consumers’ rooftops contributed for over 75% whilst the remainder supplied via solar farms!


A circular economy factors in and attempts to help reduce global factors such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste and pollution. SA’s charge towards a circular economy saw its introductory ban to single-use plastic straws, cutlery and stirrers on 1 March 2021. Early 2022 saw the ban of expanded polystyrene cups, bowls, plates, clamshell containers and all products with oxo-degradable plastic. A movement into a circular economy sees an increase in thousands of jobs, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and ultimately and a sustainable future.

Global Leader in transitioning to clean energy

In just over 15 years, the State’s electricity mix has gone from less than 1 percent renewables to 62 percent renewable energy. Globally, South Australia is ranked second only to Denmark for the amount of annual variable renewable energy it generates.

South Australia’s produce markets

South Australia produces high-quality, sustainably grown food. Markets such as the Farmer’s Markets and Adelaide Central Market help to build a sustainable local food industry and reduce food miles. Food miles measure how far your food travels before it reaches your home and the impact it can have on the environment – lower miles mean lower fuel use, pollution and potential packaging.

Green Transport

Across South Australia’s transport, there is a focus on being greener. Public transport has new electric trains, hybrid busses, and Flexity trams which are made from 98% recycled sources. Out and about, people can choose greener quick transport by renting electric scooters and bikes, or grabbing an EcoCaddy ride or tour.