Bogus bags the next step

As the first step in The Next Step: Against Waste, we need your help to identify and address non-ban-compliant plastic bags.

As the first step in The Next Step: Against Waste, we need your help to identify and address non-ban-compliant plastic bags.

Boosted by our well-supported funding appeal last month, Wildlife Queensland is wasting no time getting started with The Next Step: Against Waste in Queensland – and we need your help!

Wildlife Queensland is pleased to report that its recent campaign to raise funds to target the illegal use of slightly thicker plastic bags and the mass release of helium balloons raised a total of $14,179 thanks to over 100 donations from committed supporters.

Plastics Campaigner for Wildlife Queensland Toby Hutcheon expressed his sincere thanks to these supporters on behalf of the Society. “With the lightweight plastic bag ban in place, we are now focussed on getting rid of thicker plastic bags and stopping the deliberate release of helium balloons, both of which remain a significant threat to wildlife,” he said.

“Your support means that we can continue to campaign for these outcomes and I would like to thank you very much for your support.”

In wasting no time with our first priority, Wildlife Queensland has launched an initiative to monitor post-ban plastic bag use, and we are calling on the community to help us identify and address non-compliance. Though the ban has been in effect for almost a month, it is evident that some smaller retailers may still be supplying lightweight or only slightly thicker plastic bags. WPSQ needs your help to ensure this does not continue.

How you can help

  • Collect any bags you are supplied with that you suspect of being non-compliant with the ban
  • On the bag, write the shop details (name and address) and the date of supply
  • Send this in to WPSQ Head Office:

Wildlife Queensland
Suite 1, Level 1
30 Gladstone Rd
Highgate Hill QLD 4101

All bags received by Wildlife Queensland will be sent off for assessment on their thickness and legality. Any retailer found to be contravening the law will then be warned by the government and, if they continue, will be subject to fines.

It is important to note that we are NOT looking at the thick plastic bags now provided by the major supermarkets for a fee of 15 cents. Our intention is to monitor those bags which are slightly thicker than a lightweight bag. These are likely to be supplied by corner shops or individual retailers. If in doubt about a bag’s thickness, send it in.

All bags will be tested by a micrometer, a machine capable of assessing the actual thickness of a plastic bag. If the use of slightly thicker plastic bags becomes commonplace in Queensland, the State Government has promised to strengthen regulations.

Wildlife Queensland Policies and Campaigns Manager Des Boyland said that the continued use of slightly thicker bags undermines the intent of the ban and promotes continued plastic bag litter.

“Many suppliers claim their thicker plastic bags are legally compliant when they are not. Retailers are responsible if these bags do not meet the standard,” he said.

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