TOWNSVILLE, AAP – Queensland has banned single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates, as well as containers and cups made from expanded polystyrene.
Initially announced in March, businesses had until September 1 to stop using items listed under the first stage of the state government ban.
The plan received huge support from the community during consultations, with 94 per cent of 20,000 respondents supporting the proposal.
The related legislation also makes provision for more single-use items to be banned through regulation in the future.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the ban is the “final straw” for plastic use in Queensland and it will help reduce single use plastic pollution by 20 per cent over the next two years.
“As part of our war on waste to stop rubbish from ending up in our local waterways, beaches and landfill,” she said in parliament.
Exemptions will still exist for Queenslanders with disability or healthcare needs to access and use items necessary for them.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said it was the duty of government and businesses to work together in addressing plastic waste.
“We know that eight million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean around the world each year – that’s 170 wheelie bins of plastics every minute,” she said on Wednesday.
“Today, Queensland is stepping up to show the world that we’re doing our bit.
“In partnership with the National Retail Association we’ve engaged with more than 5000 businesses just over the last three months, helping small to large retailers to prepare for the ban.
“Even though many retailers have been doing it tough during the pandemic, the response has been overwhelmingly positive with retailers keen to do their bit for the environment.”