The Boomerang Alliance of 56 NGOs has welcomed the announcement of consultation on a second nation leading tranche of single use plastic items to be banned in Queensland. These items include problem plastics habitually littered or landfilled and polluting the marine environment.
With one third of all plastic used in Australia each year being single use and polluting the environment or being dumped in landfills, it's urgent we keep moving on their removal and embed alternatives, reuse or avoidance. An estimated 75% of rubbish found on QLD beaches is plastic with Clean Up Australia reporting that single use items such as coffee and other cups, lids, bags, and cotton bud sticks amongst the most littered. Every year they add to the dangerous, long-lasting macro and micro plastic pollution of our waterways and marine life.
This second tranche includes coffee cups and lids, plastic cups and lids, heavyweight and produce bags, plastic balloon and cotton bud sticks, plastic newspaper wraps, all oxo-degradable plastics and polystyrene meat and fruit trays. All items with ready alternatives.
It will make Queensland one of the leading jurisdictions dealing with plastic litter and waste.
There is a further list in the consultation including takeaway plastic hot and cold food containers, sauce sachets and bait bags for banning in the next 5 years. We will be urging their definitive inclusion in a quicker ban.
As with the plastic bag ban, Container Refunds and the first tranche ban that removed straws, cutlery, and polystyrene containers from use in September 2021, we look forward to support from all political parties in the Parliament, the community and business.
The 2018 ban on lightweight plastic bags led to an estimated 70% reduction in such litter whilst the container refund scheme for bottles and cans has reduced container litter by over 50%.
This second set of bans is the latest installment of the Queensland Plastic Pollution Reduction Strategy which aims to eliminate problem single use plastic litter and waste. Other future targeted sources include the retail sector, agriculture, business and industry and the marine environment. The strategy has been well received by most sectors keen to eliminate unnecessary and problem plastic wastes.