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September 28, 2023

Queensland bans single-use plastic

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Single-use cotton buds with plastic stems are one of the newly banned items. Photo Pixabay.

On Friday Queensland began a ban on single-use plastics in a bid to better protect the environment from plastic litter.

The single-use plastic items that are banned include: cotton buds with plastic stems; expanded polystyrene loose packaging (such as ‘peanut’ style fill foam); plastic microbeads in rinseable personal care and cleaning products, and; the outdoor release of lighter-than-air balloons.

Further requirements for heavyweight plastic shopping bags, such as department store bags, have also come into effect.

Non-woven plastic shopping bags of 35 microns or more thickness will need to pass reusability tests for 125 uses and, for non-compostable plastic shopping bags, contain a minimum of 80 per cent recycled content.

The Palaszczuk Government has partnered with the National Retail Association (NRA) to support businesses in understanding the new requirements and to become ban compliant, including providing advice on managing existing stocks.

The National Retail team has physically visited over 2,000 stores across the state in preparation for the new bans, providing information sessions to businesses, and is providing a toll free hotline for businesses to receive advice and assistance to comply.

Consultation was undertaken prior to the introduction of the new single-use plastic bans to determine if suitable alternatives were available and if actions other than a ban were more appropriate.

The new bans follow those introduced in September 2021 that prohibited single-use plastic items including straws, stirrers, plates, bowls, cutlery, and expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups.

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