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12 March, 2021

New laws to ban single-use straws

Polystyrene foam food containers, single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates will all be banned under new legislation passed by Queensland Parliament.

Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford said the ban would take effect from September 1, giving local businesses time to use up old stock and source alternative packaging.

“The amount of rubbish in our environment is now killing our wildlife and polluting our waterways and one way to stop this happening is to prevent this plastic from being produced in the first place,” Mr Crawford said.

“Banning these products, which are used once and then often discarded unthinkingly, will force businesses to source more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

“However, there will be exemptions to the ban for anyone who may require access to a single-use plastic item, such as a plastic straw, due to permanent or temporary disability or other healthcare needs.”

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said there was overwhelming community support for banning these types of products.

“Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away and that litter is destroying our environment,” Ms Scanlon said.

“We’ve already seen the enormous benefits of the single-use plastic shopping bag ban, with litter surveys showing a 70 per cent reduction in not just lightweight plastic shopping bag litter, but all plastic bag litter since the ban began on 1 July 2018.

“Now, we intend to continue removing these types of products from the environment, with this legislation focusing on single-use straws, stirrers, cutlery, and plates.

“During our community consultation stage, from March last year, some 94 per cent of the 20,000 respondents supported our proposal to ban these items.

“In addition, our latest online survey, which concluded on 15 January, also supported the inclusion in the ban of expanded polystyrene products such as takeaway food containers and cups – with an overwhelming 98 per cent of 6800 respondents in favour of removing them from our environment.”

The legislation also makes provision for more single-use items to be banned through regulation in the future.

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