Banned items

Items currently banned in Queensland:

  • single-use plastic straws
  • single-use plastic stirrers
  • single-use plastic plates and bowls
  • single-use plastic cutlery
  • single-use expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups
  • cotton buds with plastic stems
  • expanded polystyrene loose (‘peanut”) packaging
  • plastic microbeads in rinseable personal care and cleaning products.

Releasing lighter-than-air (helium) balloons is also banned. You can still sell, buy, supply or use these balloons as long as they don’t escape into the environment.

Shopping bags made from plastic film need to meet these material and reusability requirements:

  • 35 microns or more in thickness
  • be made from a minimum of 80% post-consumer recycled content verified by a recognised program or certification
  • be durable and big enough to carry 10 kilograms of weight for at least 125 uses verified by a recognised reusability, durability or endurance test.

Learn more about our plan to expand the ban.

Banned item type Alternative items
Regular straws, flexible straws, straws with a scoop, cocktail straws and bubble tea straws. Replace with items made from paper, bamboo, straw, compostable plastic, stainless steel, glass, silicone, edible and other reusable options.
Cotton buds with plastic stems Use cotton buds with paper, wood or bamboo stems, or reusable stems with replaceable buds.
Expanded polystyrene loose (‘peanut”) packaging Use recycled paper or cardboard packaging, wool fill, or air pillows.
Plastic microbeads in rinseable personal care and cleaning products. Reusable scrubbing brushes, loofas or other exfoliants, like coffee grounds and sugar.
Releasing lighter than air (helium) balloons Bubbles, kites, bunting or streamers.
Hot or cold drink stirrers, swizzle sticks and hot or cold food stirrers. Stirrers made from wood, stainless steel or glass.
Plates and bowls including single-use expanded polystyrene plates. Provide reusable items in the first instance, or replace them with plates and bowls made from paper, metal, bamboo, bagasse and reusable plastic, or crockery.
Knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons, sample tasting spoons, soup spoons, chopsticks, splayds and sporks. Use reusable items in the first instance, or replace them with cutlery made from stainless steel, bamboo and reusable plastic.
Single-use expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups. Replace them with cups and food containers made from paper, cardboard or compostable plastic.

Items not included in the ban

Single-use alternatives which contain compostable plastics must meet Australian Standards.

Suppliers can independently check whether their products conform to AS 5810-2010 Biodegradable Plastics - Biodegradable Plastics Suitable for Home Composting or AS 4736-2006 Biodegradable Plastics Suitable for Composting and Other Microbial Treatment.

Other single-use plastic items

The following single-use plastic items are not included in the ban:

  • straws and cutlery attached to shelf-ready, pre-packaged items*
  • other single-use plastic takeaway food containers including sushi containers, triangle sandwich containers, food containers with a plastic window, and bowls with lids
  • serving platters and trays
  • foam or plastic trays such as meat and packaged fruit and vegetable trays.

*The exemption from the ban for a single-use plastic item that is attached to a pre-packaged item (such as a plastic straw attached to a juice box) will expire on 31 December 2025, after which the ban will apply.

Banned itemExemptions
  • Single-use plastic straws
  • Single-use plastic stirrers
  • Single-use plastic plates and bowls
  • Single-use plastic cutlery
    • Single-use expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups.

If used by:

  • clinics or facilities that provide care to persons with disability or healthcare needs
  • hospitals
  • dental clinics
  • medical clinics
  • pharmacies
  • aged care facilities
  • medical suppliers.

Cotton buds with plastic stems

  • Cotton bud sticks used for scientific, medical, or forensic testing.
  • Cotton buds or swabs that make up part of a testing kit, for example rapid antigen tests or tests by vets (even if sold at retailer).

Releasing of lighter than air balloons

Release is allowed for scientific research, such as meteorology.