Queenslanders are having their say about banning single-use plastics, such as straws, drink stirrers, cutlery and plates with more than 1,500 submissions already received by the government.
Public consultation on whether to ban single use plastics was due to close today April 15, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Palaszczuk Government has extended the deadline to April 30 to allow more Queenslanders to contribute.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said that she was delighted that so many people had engaged in this consultation to-date and that an extension was necessary in the current challenging circumstances.
“We want everyone’s voice to be heard, and we recognise that in these unprecedented times responding to the Coronavirus health and economic crisis has taken priority, with so many businesses changing the way they operate,” Minister Enoch said.
“From the more than 1,500 submissions received so far, there has been strong support for a ban on single-use plastics, and we are giving Queenslanders more time to tell us the impact that such a ban would have on their business and their lifestyle.
“Importantly, we are committed to ensuring that the needs of people with a disability and the aged care sector are taken into account.
“Plastic waste lasts a long time and we are committed to policies that are good for the environment, good for jobs and good for the community.”
Queensland Disability Advisory Council Chair Sharon Boyce said many within the disability community relied heavily on straws.
“This is a conversation our community welcomes – how those of us with high needs can find a practical solution to plastic straws,” she said.
“We are also concerned about the environmental impact of single-use plastics and we support measures that will reduce environmental destruction,” Ms Boyce said.
More than 75 percent of rubbish removed from Australian beaches is made of plastic and the Palaszczuk Government has already taken steps to reduce plastic waste in our environment and wildlife by banning single-use plastic bags and introducing Containers for Change.
Queensland is fighting a war on waste and the Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan, released in November 2019, set out a list of actions to tackle the problem.
Queenslanders, stakeholders and the community are encouraged to provide feedback by visiting www.qld.gov.au/reducingplastic.
Submissions opened 13 March and will close 30 April 2020.