Queenslanders will no longer be able to use single use plastics, as part of the state’s crackdown on plastic pollution.
Single use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and bowls, as well as single-use takeaway containers and cups made from expanded polystyrene have now been banned in the Sunshine State.
The announcement was made back in March by the state government, with businesses given time to source alternative products.
Wednesday’s ban will affect supermarkets, restaurants, bars, party suppliers, online retailers and takeaway food shops.
Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said at the time that there had been overwhelming community support to reduce plastic pollution.
“Plastic pollution is spoiling our streets and parks, escaping into our ocean and waterways and killing our iconic wildlife,” Ms Scanlon said.
“Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once, ending up in landfill and harming our environment.
“The ban prevents plastic items being supplied in Queensland regardless of whether they are free with your meal or sold in packets in party supply stores.”
During community consultation last year, Ms Scanlon said some 94 per cent of the 20,000 respondents supported the ban.
There will be exemptions to the ban for anyone who may require access to a single-use plastic item due to disability or other healthcare needs.
Disability facilities, dental clinics, hospitals and pharmacies are among the short list of exempt organisations.
The National Retail Association was engaged by the state government to help businesses transition.