The sunshine state is set to ban plastic microbeads, polystyrene packing peanuts and plastic-stemmed cotton buds by 1 September 2023 with the Palaszczuk Government unveiling its proposed five-year roadmap to phase out harmful, single-use plastics.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the mass release of lighter-than-air balloons will also be banned next year, while new minimum standards will be introduced for heavy plastic bags requiring them to be tested for reusability and the ability to be recycled once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan.
The roadmap comes off the back of new survey results, which showed 91 per cent of Queenslanders backed further bans on single-use plastics, as well as consultation with peak retail and environment groups.
“Single-use plastics are problematic, and Queenslanders have made it clear they want to give more of them the punt,” the Minister said, kicking off Plastic Free July.
“They don’t breakdown, they fill up our dumps and they kill wildlife.
The Palaszczuk Government phased out single-use lightweight shopping bags in 2018 and last year banned a number of single-use plastics food products like straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, unenclosed bowls, and expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway containers and EPS cups.
“It’s great to see so many businesses already taking voluntary measures and going beyond our bans, and it is time to support those voluntary commitments and strengthen our actions in the fight against plastic pollution.
“Our roadmap will phase out other problematic single-use plastics over the next five years, including the aim to phase out disposable coffee cups and lids following work with other states and territories.
“Of course, we will continue to work with retailers, community groups and suppliers so they have the alternative products in place.