6 December 2021
Wildlife Queensland and the Boomerang Alliance of 56 NGOs have welcomed the announcement of consultation on a second nation-leading tranche of single-use plastic items to be banned in Queensland. These items include problem plastics habitually littered or landfilled and polluting the marine environment.
‘With one-third of all plastic used in Australia each year being single-use and polluting the environment or being dumped in landfills, it’s urgent we keep moving on their removal and embed alternatives, reuse or avoidance,’ said Toby Hutcheon, Campaign Manager for Boomerang Alliance. ‘An estimated 75% of rubbish found on QLD beaches is plastic with Clean Up Australia reporting that single-use items – such as coffee and other cups, lids, bags, and cotton bud sticks – are among the most littered. Every year, these items add to the dangerous, long-lasting macro and micro plastic pollution of our waterways and marine life.’
‘This second tranche includes coffee cups and lids, plastic cups and lids, heavyweight and produce bags, plastic balloon and cotton bud sticks, plastic newspaper wraps, all oxo-degradable plastics and polystyrene meat and fruit trays. All items with ready alternatives.‘It will make Queensland one of the leading jurisdictions dealing with plastic litter and waste,’ adds Hutcheon.
‘There is a further list in the consultation including takeaway plastic hot and cold food containers, sauce sachets and bait bags for banning in the next 5 years. We will be urging their definitive inclusion in a quicker ban.
‘As with the plastic bag ban, Container Refunds and the first tranche ban that removed straws, cutlery, and polystyrene containers from use in September 2021, we look forward to support from all political parties in the Parliament, the community and business,’ Mr Hutcheon said.
The 2018 ban on lightweight plastic bags led to an estimated 70% reduction in such litter and the container refund scheme for bottles and cans has reduced container litter by over 50%.
This second set of bans is the latest instalment of the Queensland Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy, which aims to eliminate problem single-use plastic litter and waste. Other future targeted sources include the retail sector, agriculture, business and industry, and the marine environment. The strategy has been well received by most sectors keen to eliminate unnecessary and problem plastic wastes.
Have Your Say
Queenslanders interested in having their say are encouraged to fill out this online survey.
Submissions open 6 December 2021 and will close on 28 January 2022.
Do Your Bit
Did you know you can donate your container refund scheme dollars directly to Wildlife Queensland? Find out how here.
Related Articles and Information
- WPSQ Welcomes Queensland Government’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan
- Avoid Waste in the First Place!
- Balloons are Killing Our Seabirds
- Position Statement on Helium Balloons