20 March, 2020
Single-use plastics are a serious problem for the environment. Around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced every year and about half of all plastic is designed to be used only once and then thrown away.
Last year, the Palaszczuk Government launched Tackling Plastic Waste – Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan, which included a proposal to ban specific single-use plastics, beginning with straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates.
We want to hear from individuals and businesses on the proposed ban – including people with a disability who many have specific requirements for items like straws – to ensure an understanding of the impact it may have, consider everyone’s needs, and develop the best plan for transitioning to a future free from plastic waste.
For more information and to lodge a submission, please visit www.qld.gov.au/reducingplastic
Submissions close 15 April 2020.
All submissions will be considered as the government shapes new legislation that helps move the state towards a zero-waste economy by 2050.
What we have already done
- We have already acted to ban the supply of single-use plastic shopping bags, which started on 1 July 2018. This has helped reduce plastic bag litter by around 70% and has seen a massive reduction in plastic bag use.
- The Palaszczuk Government has also introduced the container refund scheme, Containers for Change. The scheme has been highly successful in recovering plastic containers, with more than 1.4 billion beverage containers returned. The scheme has resulted in a 49 per cent reduction of container litter.
How this will help
- By reducing the demand for – and production of – single-use plastics, we will reduce the pollutants in our environment.
- At least 8 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean each year – which is equivalent to dumping more than 170 wheelie bins of plastic into the ocean every minute.
- Around 800 species worldwide, including 77 Australian species, are impacted by marine debris. More than 85 per cent of contamination in the Great Barrier Reef is from microfibers.
- Turtles have a 20 per cent chance of dying if they ingest just one piece of plastic, and more than 70 per cent of loggerhead turtles found dead in Queensland waters have ingested plastic.
- By reducing the amount of plastics in our daily lives, we will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our waterways.