The Palaszczuk government has introduced initiatives - a container refund scheme and a plastic bag ban - into Parliament, which is says will drive the community to recycle and get rubbish out of the environment and waterways.
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"Right now supermarkets are handing out a billion plastic bags a year in our state and many of those end up polluting our waterways and oceans and killing our fish and turtles," Environment Minister Steven Miles said.

"More than 23,000 Queenslanders told us they wanted a ban on single use plastic shopping bags. We've heard them loud and clear. A plastic bag ban will make it easier for people to recycle and protect our environment from plastic pollution," Miles said.

The amendments to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 introduced on Wednesday also included a container refund scheme.

"We're also introducing a container refund program which will make it easier for people to recycle and give community groups a chance to make some extra money from their clean up days," Miles said.

"To make the program as simple as possible, refunds will be available from reverse vending machines or at designated container refund points.  

"We even have bipartisan support in Parliament, reflecting the overwhelming community support for both the refund scheme and the plastic bag ban."

Toby Hutcheon of the Boomerang Alliance and Wildlife Queensland said the container refund scheme and the ban on plastic shopping bags would have enormous positive impacts on the environment.

"These two measures can reduce litter volumes particularly plastic litter by at least 50% in Queensland," Hutcheon said.

"This package represents the most significant policy on litter reduction in a generation. And it doesn't help that we also have one of the country's lowest recycling rates at around 44%.

"Drink cans and bottles dominate litter in our parks, beaches and public areas, while we use almost a billion lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags in Queensland each year, none of which are recycled.

"[The] announcement will help give local communities the ability to stem the massive waste of plastic polluting our playgrounds, parks, rivers and beaches."

Daryl Scott, chief commissioner of Scouts Queensland, said the introduction of the container refund scheme offered a "fantastic triple bottom line" for not-for-profits, the environment and the community.

"By engaging with the container deposit scheme, just as we've done in South Australia, this will help Scout groups to fundraise and provide a significant environmental benefit at the same time," Scott said.

Under the container refund scheme most drink containers between 150ml and three litres will be eligible for a 10-cent refund, although some containers are exempt, such as containers for plain milk, wine and pure juice.

South Australia and the Northern Territory have been operating similar schemes for many years, with New South Wales to bring in a refund scheme at the end of this year. 

Similarly, bans on lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags are already in place in other parts of the country including South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

In Queensland, the container refund scheme and shopping bag ban will start on July 1, 2018.

The government is working closely with beverage manufacturers, retailers, local government, the waste and resource recovery industry, and the community on both proposals to ensure a smooth transition and operation of the initiatives.