The Queensland government has extended the deadline for the community to have their say about banning single-use plastics, such as straws, drink stirrers, cutlery and plates to April 30.
Public consultation on whether to ban single use plastics was due to close on April 15, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the government has made an extension. More than 1,500 submissions already received. Minister for environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch, said that she was “delighted” that so many people had engaged in this consultation to-date and that an extension was necessary in the current challenging circumstances.
“We want everyone’s voice to be heard, and we recognise that in these unprecedented times responding to the Coronavirus health and economic crisis has taken priority, with so many businesses changing the way they operate,” Enoch said.
“From the more than 1,500 submissions received so far, there has been strong support for a ban on single-use plastics, and we are giving Queenslanders more time to tell us the impact that such a ban would have on their business and their lifestyle.
“Importantly, we are committed to ensuring that the needs of people with a disability and the aged care sector are taken into account.
“Plastic waste lasts a long time and we are committed to policies that are good for the environment, good for jobs and good for the community.”
Dependant on straws
Meanwhile, 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.
“We are also concerned about the environmental impact of single-use plastics and we support measures that will reduce environmental destruction,” Boyce added.
Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan, released in November 2019, set out a list of actions to tackle the problem. Queenslanders, stakeholders and the community are encouraged to provide feedback by visiting www.qld.gov.au/reducingplastic.