Queenslanders have until tomorrow, April 15 to consult with the government on a state-wide ban on single use plastic that will initially focus on straws, drink stirrers, cutlery and plates.
The Government said it has been seeking feedback from Queenslanders and businesses on the proposed bans to ensure an understanding of the impact it may have, consider everyone’s needs and develop the best plan for transitioning to a future free from plastic waste.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said single-use plastic was an increasing problem damaging the environment and marine life and Queenslanders were looking for a positive solution.
“It’s time to decide the future of single-use plastics in Queensland. Plastic pollution in our environment affects every aspect of our lives – from the water we drink and the food we consume, to the plants, animals and outdoor places we all love and enjoy,” Enoch said.
“We are looking to limit and, where necessary, ban the supply of most single-use plastic products starting with straws, stirrers, plates, cutlery and cups.”
According to Enoch, the government wants to ensure everyone’s perspectives on single-use plastics has been heard. She said that it wanted to guarantee that the needs of people with a disability and the aged care sector are taken into account.
“Our government has already taken steps to reduce plastic with the ban on single-use plastics bags and the introduction of Containers for Change. Those initiatives have seen hundreds of millions of individual plastic products kept from entering the environment, and now we’re looking ahead, she said.
Banning specific products
Enoch explained that the Queensland Government’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan, released in 2019, committed to introducing enabling legislation in 2020, subject to consultation, to ban the supply of specific plastic products. She added that the next step was to consider other forms of single-use items such as coffee cups, heavyweight plastic shopping bags and polystyrene containers.
Queensland Disability Advisory Council chair Sharon Boyce said many within the disability community relied heavily on straws.
“This is a conversation our community welcomes – how those of us with high needs can find a practical solution to plastic straws,” she said.
Queenslanders, stakeholders and the community are encouraged to provide feedback by visiting www.qld.gov.au/reducingplastic.
Enoch confirmed that all submissions will be considered as the government shapes new legislation that helps move the state towards a zero-waste economy by 2050.