Council has backed a State Government proposal to ban the sale, supply and distribution of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates and cutlery from 1 July 2021.
The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is seeking feedback on its Single-use Plastic Items Regulatory Impact Statement, part of a push to reduce plastic pollution of single-use plastic items in Queensland by 20 per cent by 2023.
Stage one of the proposed legislation would ban businesses and retailers from manufacturing, importing, selling or distributing single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates and cutlery.
Council has also recommended that polystyrene cups and takeaway food containers be included in stage one of the proposed legislation.
The move to ban these items aligns with Council’s endeavours to reduce single-use plastics in its operations, facilities and events.
A recent survey by the Cairns Chamber of Commerce found that over 73 per cent of local businesses were interested in reducing single-use plastics.
More than 120 Cairns businesses have already removed plastic straws by joining the Straw No More campaign, initiated by Cairns school student Molly Steer, or the Last Straw on The Great Barrier Reef program, founded by Nicole Nash.
Council has also partnered with Plastic Free Cairns to ensure that all food retailers have access to tailored support in transitioning away from single-use plastics. To arrange a free session and access promotional opportunities and other benefits, businesses can head to https://www.plasticfreecairns.org/