Single-use plastic products ban
As a result of public consultation and direct engagement with stakeholders, the following single-use plastic products are proposed to be banned from sale or supply in Queensland:
- stirrers (for example, hot and cold drinks).
Straws or cutlery that form part of a product, for example a juice box with an attached plastic straw or a yoghurt with an attached plastic spoon under the lid, are excluded from this list.
The ban is part of Queensland’s plan to tackle plastic pollution.
Nearly 20,000 Queenslanders and businesses had their say on the proposed ban on these single-use plastic products. Some of the key findings were:
- 94% supported a ban on single-use plastic straws, plates, cutlery and stirrers
- there is strong support for banning other single-use plastic products, like takeaway plastic and polystyrene containers and cups
- 90% agreed that a start date after 1 July 2021 was sufficient time to introduce the ban
- one third supported exemptions to the ban, particularly for people with healthcare or disability needs who require the use of straws
- 80% agreed that more voluntary action to reduce single-use plastics would help reduce plastic pollution, supported by education and awareness campaigns.
Some people, such as those with disability or healthcare needs, will require continued access to these products. Special considerations are being developed in consultation with these groups.
The products being considered for banning have readily available alternatives, and in many cases could be avoided. For example:
- single-use plastic straws (not always required) – paper straws and reusable straws made from bamboo, stainless steel and silicone
- single-use plastic cutlery – reusable cutlery made from stainless steel, heavy-weight plastic and bamboo
- single-use plastic plates – paper and reusable plastic plates and crockery
- single-use plastic drink stirrers (not always required) – wooden paddle/pop sticks, stainless steel teaspoons.
When would products be banned?
Following consultation, it was agreed that a start date after 1 July 2021 would be sufficient time for business, industry and other impacted groups to prepare for the ban.
Legislation is being amended to allow for selected single-use plastic products to be banned and once passed, the ban and its start date will be confirmed.
An implementation plan and timeframes will also be developed in consultation with stakeholders, along with a plan to communicate the ban to Queenslanders and businesses.
Other single-use plastic products will be considered for banning in the future, including:
- coffee and other plastic cups
- heavyweight ‘boutique style’ plastic shopping bags
- some polystyrene packaging and takeaway food and drink containers
- plastic balloon sticks.
Check out more key actions the Queensland Government is undertaking to avoid, reduce, reuse and recycle more waste in Queensland.