26 September 2023

Suck it all up: Plastic straws on the way out

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Legislation developed by the Department of Environment and Science banning single-use plastic items has been introduced into Parliament.

The ban will come into force in stages, beginning with straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates.

Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Meaghan Scanlon said she was committed to reducing the devastating impact of plastic waste on marine life and the environment.

“We have banned single-use plastic bags, we introduced the highly successful Containers for Change program, and banning single-use plastics like straws and stirrers is the next important step,” Ms Scanlon said.

“In March, we asked Queenslanders to decide the future of single-use plastic items, and the overwhelming majority were in favour of a ban.”

She said there would now be further consultation on the future of polystyrene food containers and cups.

“In recognition of the fact that this has been a difficult year for many small businesses in the hospitality sector, the ban’s start date will be no earlier than 1 September 2021, and we will confirm the start date once the Bill passes in early 2021,” Ms Scanlon said.

“This will allow businesses and the hospitality industry time to source appropriate products and further consultation to occur.”

Chair of the Queensland Disability Advisory Council, Sharon Boyce said that while many within the disability community relied heavily on straws, they were also supportive of protecting the environment and were eager to be part of a conversation that sought a solution.

“In addition to being advocates for our own needs, many within our community are also strong environmental advocates. We recognise the urgent need to find a solution that works for us and keeps destructive straws out of our environment,” Ms Boyce said.

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