State moves to ban plastic straws
PLASTIC straws, drink stirrers, cutlery and plates are set to be banned across the state under sweeping changes proposed by the Palaszczuk Government to eradicate single use plastics.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the Government will put the proposal out to consultation today ahead of introducing laws before the end of the year to ban the supply of the plastic items.
The Government has committed to speaking with business and industry about the impact of the ban, as well as the aged care and disability sectors.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said it was time for Queenslanders to decide the future of single-use plastics in the state, pointing out that more than 75 per cent of rubbish on Australian beaches was made of plastic.
"We are looking to limit and, where necessary, ban the supply of most single-use plastic products starting with straws, stirrers, plates, cutlery and cups," she said.
"This consultation is very important because we want to make sure we hear everyone's perspectives on single-use plastics.
"Importantly, we are committed to ensuring the needs of people with a disability and the aged care sector are taken into account.
"We want to hear from Queenslanders as we take this next step."
Under the proposed changes, plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates would not be sold at supermarkets or distributed at stores and restaurants.
It is likely the ban would come into effect in 2021, with consultation on the proposal to remain open until April 15.
Ms Enoch confirmed the Government would consider banning other single-use items in the future, including coffee cups, heavyweight plastic shopping bags and polystyrene containers.
"Plastic pollution in our environment affects every aspect of our lives - from the water we drink and the food we consume, to the plants, animals and outdoor places we all love and enjoy," Ms Enoch said.
Queensland Disability Advisory Council chair Sharon Boyce said many people with disabilities relied heavily on straws.
"This is a conversation our community welcomes - how those of us with high needs can find a practical solution to plastic straws," she said.