Plastic straws, cutlery and plates will soon become a thing of the past, with the Queensland Government introducing legislation to ban single-use plastic items.
It comes after the State Government received an overwhelming response from local residents who were all for getting rid of plastics.
“In March this year, we asked Queenslanders to decide the future of single-use plastic items and we received a resounding response that was very clear,” Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said.
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“Almost 20,000 responses were received, with 94 per cent of submissions in favour of a ban.
“That’s an overwhelming statement from communities wanting to find a positive solution to reducing plastic waste and protecting our environment.
The ban will start with straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates with the possibility of expanding to include coffee cups, polystyrene cups, take-away food containers and heavy weight plastic bags.
However, Ms Enoch confirmed the ban won’t kick in until next year, to give businesses time to find alternative options.
“The Bill allows for flexibility, with the start date for the ban to be no earlier than 1 July 2021, allowing businesses and the hospitality industry adequate time to source new products,” Ms Enoch said.
“90 per cent of submissions supported a proposed start date of 1 July 2021”.
Toby Hutcheon, Queensland Manager of Boomerang Alliance welcomed the ban.
“These items are amongst the most littered items in Queensland. According to Clean Up Australia 36 per cent of all litter in Queensland is plastic packaging,” Mr Hutcheon said.
Items such as single-use plastic straws that are part of juice box packaging have been exempt for the time being.