They’re only used for an average of 12 minutes, but can take up to 1,000 years to disintegrate.
They’re single-use plastic bags, and Queenslanders are being asked to let their state government know what they think about the proposed ban on them from 2018.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said scientific evidence about the harmful impacts of plastic in the environment is growing every day, and there is considerable support for a ban.
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“The Queensland Government sees a plastic bag ban as a critical step in a long-term plastic pollution reduction plan,” he said.
Speaking in Sydney where he attended today’s Meeting of Environment Ministers, Dr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government had decided to start the litter-busting ban in 2018, to coincide with its Container Deposit Scheme.
“It’s a logical step … to bring about a vast reduction in the numbers of plastic shopping bags blowing in the wind, entering our waterways, harming our wildlife and spoiling our environment.
Light-weight plastic bags are already banned in South Australia, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.
Dr Miles is pushing for the ban to extend along the eastern seaboard.
The latest National Litter Index figures showed that Queensland continued to be the most littered mainland state in Australia.
“According to the national figures, litter is increasing on our beaches.
“Along with our highways and shopping centre car parks, these are our most littered areas.
“We know that plastic bags make up a considerable proportion of the most conspicuous litter items and this ruins people’s enjoyment of what should be our beautiful environment,” he said.
Feedback closes on 27 February, 2017 at www.ehp.qld.gov.au/waste.