Queensland has followed South Australia in putting a proposal before parliament to ban single-use plastic items.
The legislation would enable the ban to be extended to coffee cups, polystyrene cups, takeaway containers and heavyweight plastic bags after public consultation. It’s expected, if passed the ban would commence July 1 2021.
However, it would include exemptions for people with disabilities or medical requirements to allow outlets such as pharmacies, and schools and care facilities to make plastic straws available to people who need them.
The Queensland government surveyed the state in March and found that 94 per cent of households and business were behind banning single-use plastic straws, plates, cutlery and stirrers.
Queensland environment minister, Leeanne Enoch, described the results as an overwhelming statement.
“Communities want to find a positive solution to reducing plastic waste and protecting our environment,” she said. Although there is momentum for the changes Enoch said the start date was flexible, as businesses needed to source new products while they were also managing the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other jurisdictions such as the ACT expected to introduce a similar bill this year while New South Wales and Western Australia have completed public consultation.