The Government of Queensland has issued a Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan to address the issue of single-use plastics in the Australian state.
Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister Leeanne Enoch has released the plan that outlines the proposal.
The ban will include plastic products such as plastic straws, cutlery, plates and stirrers, which ‘have a preferred and available reusable or 100% compostable alternative’.
Items such as coffee cups, plastic cups and heavy-weight shopping bags might be included in the ban at a later stage.
Enoch said: “There is a growing concern amongst Queenslanders about the amount of plastic being used in everyday life.
“Majority of Queenslanders (seven out of ten) already take steps to reduce their use of single-use plastics but there is always more we can do to tackle pollution.
“Both government and the community need to work together and, while research shows Queenslanders are on board with tackling plastics, we will undertake extensive consultation with the community on this issue.”
The proposed plan is part of the 2017 election commitment to reduce the impact of plastics and help build a better future for Queensland.
The Queensland Government will conduct a consultation and introduce legislation next year.
The government will collaborate with industries in finding solutions to eliminate unnecessary plastics and providing substitutes for single-use plastic items.
Enoch added: “We will also identify and develop new businesses and markets to transform the way plastic is recovered, reused and recycled, creating new jobs and industries for Queensland.”
With funding from the Queensland Government, Australia’s Boomerang Alliance has delivered the Plastic Free Places model in Noosa, Cairns and Townsville.
The trial in Noosa involved removing more than three million single-use plastic items, including straws, coffee cups and lids, plastic bags, plastic cutlery and takeaway containers in the last one-and-a-half-year period.
Queensland Boomerang Alliance manager Toby Hutcheon said: “The programme works by signing up cafes, food outlets and events to work with a dedicated program coordinator towards eliminating their single-use plastic items and / or switching to biodegradable options.”