WWF-Australia has welcomed the launch of a public consultation that could lead to harmful single-use plastics, such as takeaway coffee cups and heavyweight shopping bags, being banned in Queensland.
The Queensland Government is seeking feedback from the community and stakeholders on the next tranche of plastics to be phased out.
Items being considered include coffee cups and lids, plastic drinking cups, dome lids like those used on milkshakes, plastic wrapping on magazines or newspapers, fruit and vegetable produce bags, expanded polystyrene meat trays, balloon sticks and closures, and bread bag tags.
“We’re pleased to see Queensland considering action on so many problematic plastics,” said Kate Noble, WWF-Australia’s No Plastics in Nature Policy Manager.
“There’s a huge amount of public support for getting rid of the plastics that we don’t need and that do the most damage to our beautiful beaches and marine wildlife.
“Plastic drinking cups, lids and produce bags are often discarded after a single-use and end up leaking into our environment where they stay for hundreds of years. There are viable, sustainable alternatives to these items, so there’s no reason to delay action.
“We’re pleased to see expanded polystyrene trays on the hit list this time. Expanded polystyrene is particularly dangerous, as it can break down and flow into our oceans in billions of bite-sized pieces.”
Ms Noble also called for the Queensland Government to review other polluting plastics.
“Helium balloon releases, plastic takeaway containers, and cigarette filters should all be up for discussion to be banned in Queensland and around the country,” she said.
“Most cigarette filters are made of plastic. Cigarette butts are consistently the most littered item in Australia, but they continue to fall through the cracks when it comes to plastics policy.
“If we want to Regenerate Australia and build a more sustainable future, we need to tackle the products and processes that pollute our wild places and threaten our wildlife.”
Queenslanders can have their say on single-use plastics by visiting https://www.qld.gov.au/supi