QLD plastic ban: New items added to the prohibited list
More single-use items will be added to Queensland’s banned plastics list as the state moves to further protect the environment.
Disposable coffee cups and lids are set to be banned in Queensland under a sweeping new strategy from the State Government to protect the environment from single-use plastics.
The Government will unveil the five-year plan today – with mass balloon releases, plastic microbeads, polystyrene packing peanuts, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds to be banned from September 1, 2023.
Plastic drinking cups, bread tags, sauce sachets, balloon sticks, plastic dome lids, bait bags, and expanded polystyrene trays are also facing the axe.
The new road map comes after 91 per cent of respondents to a government survey backed further bans to single-use plastics, which already apply to straws, cutlery, stirrers, plates and unenclosed bowls.
“Single-use plastics are problematic, and Queenslanders have made it clear they want to give more of them the punt,” Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said.
“They don’t break down. They fill up our dumps and they kill wildlife.”
Ms Scanlon said the plan would aim to phase out disposable coffee cups and lids following work with other states and territories.
“Of course, we will continue to work with retailers, community groups and suppliers so they have the alternative products in place,” she said.
“That’ll begin with getting to work straight away on replacements for coffee cups through an Innovation Challenge – with further details to be announced soon – to get Queensland businesses working on the alternatives we need.
“We understand these changes can have an impact on businesses and we will work with them to ensure they are ready.”
Heavy-use plastic shopping bags will need to be tested for reusability and their ability to be recycled under new minimum standards that will also kick off from next year.
Beyond the bans that will begin next year – such as the prohibition on the mass release of lighter-than-air balloons – the road map identifies other possible bans that could come into force in the years ahead.
Plastic drinking cups, oxo-degradable plastics, expanded polystyrene trays, single use produce bags, and bread tags are listed as possibly banned products from September 2024.
Bait bags, plastic dome lids, takeaway containers, and plastic wrapping for magazines could be banned from September 2025, while sauce sachets could be gone from 2026.
“It’s great to see so many businesses already taking voluntary measures and going beyond our (existing) bans,” Ms Scanlon said.
“And it is time to support those voluntary commitments and strengthen our actions in the fight against plastic pollution.”
Businesses caught supplying banned items can be fined more than $6800.
THE BANNED LIST
SEPTEMBER 1, 2023
- Cotton buds with plastic stems
- Expanded polystyrene loose packaging
- Plastic microbeads in rinseable personal care and cleaning products
- Mass release of lighter-than-air balloons
POSSIBLY SEPTEMBER 1, 2024
- Plastic drinking cups
- All oxo-degradable plastics
- Expanded polystyrene trays
- Single-use produce bags
- Balloon sticks/closures/clips
- Bread bag tags
POSSIBLY SEPTEMBER 1, 2025
- Bait bags
- Plastic dome lids (such as those used for milkshakes and sundaes)
- Plastic wrapping on magazines
POSSIBLY SEPTEMBER 1, 2026
- Sauce sachets (such as tomato, etc)