It is now only 50 days until Queensland’s plastic bag ban comes into effect, and the Palaszczuk Queensland is reminding retailers and the community to start getting prepared.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said Queenslanders use almost one billion plastic shopping bags each year.
“This figure is astonishing. If you laid out all of these bags, end to end, they would reach from Coolangatta to the top of Cape York more than 160 times,” Ms Enoch said.
“And sadly about 16 million plastic bags end up in our environment every year.
“This ban is one step the Palaszczuk Government is taking to reduce single-use plastic items in an effort to tackle the growing challenge of plastic pollution.
“The ban will also help keep our state beautiful for generations to come and reduce the impact of plastic pollution on our treasured environment and wildlife.”
From 1 July, retailers will no longer be able to supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness to customers, for free or at a charge.
Minister Enoch said it was pleasing to see some retailers already replacing plastic shopping bags in preparation of the ban.
“I congratulate the many retailers across the State who have moved away from plastic shopping bags already,” she said.
“It’s also an important time for households to starting planning of how they can use reusable shopping bags when visiting the shops.
“Most household are likely to already have alternative bags they can use such as reusable ‘green’ bags or bags they use every day, like a backpack. Make sure you take them with you when you go shopping or to collect a takeaway, and keep them by the front door, in your car or in your bag.
“Regardless of which reusable shopping bags you use, to maximise the environmental benefit it’s very important that you use them over and over again, and recycle them at their end-of-life, where possible.”
The plastic bag ban applies to all retailers including market-stall holders and organisations which supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, for in-store and online sales.
Retailers that continue to supply banned bags after 1 July could face a fine of up to $6,300 per offence. A similar fine also applies to any person, such as a supplier, who provides misleading information about banned bags.
Information and resources for community members are available on the Queensland Government plastic bag ban website.
Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Leeanne Enoch