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December 2, 2021

Queensland passes plastic bag ban laws

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Plastic bags are a danger to marine wildlife and should be banned, activists say. (file pic)
Plastic bags are a danger to marine wildlife and should be banned, activists say. (file pic)

Single-use plastic bags will be banned in Queensland from July next year after new laws passed parliament overnight.

The state will also have a new container refund scheme, with most beverage containers to attract a 10-cent refund to stop them ending up in waterways and the sea.

“An estimated 2.4 billion beverage containers and one billion lightweight plastic shopping bags are used in Queensland every year. These are ending up in our waterways and killing and maiming our native animals,” Environment Minister Steven Miles has told parliament.

“This bill responds to overwhelming community demand.”

Dr Miles praised Coles and Woolworths for announcing earlier this year that they would voluntarily impose a nationwide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags, which are already banned in some other states.

“It goes to show that there is broad momentum and support for this ban,” he said.

The minister said the container refund scheme would create new jobs and charities would be among those reaping the rewards.

“This means more revenue for our not-for-profit organisations including sporting clubs and charities,” he said.

And the latest technology should help make it easy for people to turn rubbish into cash.

“We are giving people access to the latest technology to do it. Reverse vending machines are easy to use and provide instant refunds. They will be made available right across the state.”

The first machine is currently being installed at parliament house.

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