Queensland is single-use plastic free

31 August 2021

Our successful single-use plastic campaign means less plastic pollution from 1 September 2021

After years of running our single-use plastic-free Queensland campaign with our Boomerang Alliance allies, today, 31 August 2021, marks the end of times for single-use plastic items!

We’re proud to be saying goodbye to wasteful plastic items including straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls and expanded polystyrene cups and containers, which are all banned in Queensland from 1 September 2021. Click here to view the full list of banned products.

Less litter and landfill

list of banned items

Graphic: Boomerang Alliance

Half of all plastic produced globally is single-use –essentially made to be tossed away. The problem is … there is no away! These non-biodegradable products instead clog landfill or become litter and contribute to the 300 million tonnes of plastic waste generated annually – that’s almost equivalent to the weight of the entire human population!

Worse, when these products do start to break down, they become the all-pervasive microplastics that infiltrate our ecosystems and bioaccumulate, harming wildlife and marine life that accidentally consumes them.

Check it! Before you chuck it!

Also reducing plastic waste is a new, standardised Australasian Recycling Label designed to makes it easier to ‘Check it before you chuck it!’ and determine which components of food and product labelling can be recycled (and where). An initiative of Planet Ark and APCO (Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation), the new three-part labelling system has been endorsed by all Australian governments in the hope of reducing non-recyclable contamination and decreasing the amount of recyclable material entering landfill.

Categories include: 

Recyclable: The coloured/opaque recycling symbol, means that this piece of packaging can be placed in the recycling bin as it is. Each piece of packaging with this label has to be placed separately in the recycling bin. 

Conditionally Recyclable: The clear/ transparent recycling symbol means that you must follow the instructions to recycle this packaging component. If you don’t follow the instructions it has to go in the rubbish bin, as it will otherwise not be recycled and cause contamination to the recycling stream.

Not Recyclable: The bin symbol, means that this piece of packaging is not recyclable and you must place it in the rubbish bin. DO NOT place it in the recycling bin. It will not get recycled and it will contaminate the recycling stream.

Combined, we know these improvements will make for a cleaner, more sustainable Queensland, and we thank all of those who contributed to our appeals and shared our campaigns to reduce plastic waste over the years.

 

Using sustainable, compostable alternatives

Appreciably, these environmentally friendly regulations will alter how some businesses operate, which is why The Boomerang Alliance* has been contracted to conduct 30-minute forums across the state to explain to businesses:

  • the products included in the ban
  • alternative products that can be used
  • how to adapt to implement practices that avoid and reduce packaging tailored for specific scenarios (for example, at a community sausage sizzle or sports event).

Register for a session near you through Eventbrite or contact Tanja at tanja.schueler@boomerangalliance.org.au

Thank you to those who continued to support our campaign and donate to our campaigns to make single-use plastics history in Queensland.


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Written by Wildlifeqld