The Sunshine State has given a swathe of single-use plastics the flick, with the latest ban taking effect yesterday as part of efforts to stop waste from ending up in local waterways, beaches and landfill.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the ban would help reduce single-use plastic pollution by 20 per cent over the next two years.
The September 1 ban covers single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and unenclosed bowls, as well as single-use takeaway containers and cups made from expanded polystyrene.
The ban will stop these items being supplied in Queensland, including items provided free with purchased meals or sold in packets as party supplies.
“Half of all plastics are only designed to be used once. That has led to more than 75 per cent of the waste removed from our beaches being made of plastic,” the Premier said.
“Preventing this rubbish from ending up in our beaches and waterways will protect animals like turtles, which alone have a 20 per cent chance of dying if they ingest just one piece of plastic.
“Today’s ban, a part of our war on waste, will also help to protect the Great Barrier Reef – along with the $6 billion and 60,000 jobs it supports.
“We know that these measures work. We’ve already seen the benefits of the lightweight single-use plastic shopping bag ban, with surveys showing a 70 per cent reduction in all plastic bag litter since the bag ban began in 2018.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said banning single-use plastics added to the Palaszczuk Government’s record $1.4 billion investment to protect the environment, support business and create jobs as part of the state’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“In partnership with the National Retail Association, we’ve already engaged with more than 5000 businesses over the past 3 months, helping small to large retailers to prepare for the ban.
“There will be exemptions to ensure that Queenslanders with disability or healthcare needs can continue to access and use items necessary for them.
“With the economy and jobs now growing and recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 thanks to our economic recovery plan, so too is our environment with the ban of even more single-use plastics.”
Further information on the items that will be banned from September this year is available at www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/reduction/plastic-pollution/single-use-plastic-products-ban.
For more information on single-use plastics waste management, contact us today.