I support a ban on lightweight, plastic shopping bags, including a ban on degradable and biodegradable bags, and support the Boomerang Alliance's position on these four questions:
1. What are the appropriate timeframes and transitional arrangements to implement a plastic bag ban in Queensland?
We want a ban to be implemented as soon as practical and certainly by 2018. A key feature prior to the introduction of a ban is an education program for both consumers AND retailers.
2. Do you agree that biodegradable bags should be included in a ban?
Yes. Degradable bags are designed to break into smaller pieces and are readily consumed by wildlife. Biodegradable bags decompose too slowly in the marine environment, and by that time they have already done the damage. And because they are ‘biodegradable’ they tend to be littered more as consumers think that they are okay to discard.
3. Do you support the Queensland Government working with other states and territories to encourage industry to reduce the number of heavier weight plastic department store bags?
We need to reduce and eliminate all so called 'disposable' plastic items. They all end up in landfill, or are littered in the environment. Alternatives to thicker bags, such as consumers using their own bags, must be encouraged. The best way to do this is ban thicker bags or put a price on them.
4. What else can be done by the Queensland Government to address plastic pollution?
The release of helium balloons should be banned.
Other single use plastic items such as cups and plates, straws, plastic food ware etc. should be flagged for future action.
Microplastic litter needs to be addressed through bans, take back schemes or alternatives.
Plastic bait bags should be banned and the practice of using re-usable containers for bait encouraged.