Tackling plastic waste
Plastic products have become part of our everyday lives, providing many positive benefits to society. However, with increases in population and consumption, the reliance on plastic has grown exponentially, particularly in convenience and single-use plastic products.
Plastic pollution is a growing problem and when it ends up in the wrong place, it can negatively impact the health of our communities, our environment and wildlife.
More and more we are seeing the impacts of plastic pollution, locally and across the world, and everyone will have a role to play in tackling plastic waste.
Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan
Tackling plastic waste: Queensland’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan (the plastics plan) sets the direction for Queensland to be part of the global solution to plastic pollution. The plastics plan identifies and prioritises actions, at every step in the supply chain, to help reduce plastic waste and reduce the amount of plastic in and entering the environment. Driving long-term change and identifying actions at every step of the plastic supply chain.
In line with Queensland’s Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy, the plastics plan looks for economic opportunities to create a plastic circular economy through investment in plastic reprocessing, remanufacturing, market development and new products as alternatives to plastic.
The Queensland Government will continue to work with industry to design out unnecessary and problematic plastics and identify viable substitutes for single use plastic items. We will also identify and develop new businesses and markets to transform the way plastic is recovered, reused and recycled—creating new jobs and industries for Queensland.
Single-use plastic items ban
On 10 March 2021, the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Act 2021 was passed by the Queensland Parliament. The Act bans the sale or supply of the following single-use plastic items in Queensland, from 1 September 2021:
- bowls and plates
- expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups.
More about the ban.
How you can get involved
Individuals have an important role to play in reducing the impacts of plastic pollution and being more sustainable.
Here are just a few simple ways you can make a difference (and there are plenty more!). Where possible:
- pick up littered items
- remember to bring your own shopping bags
- separate soft ‘scrunchable’ plastic waste at home and take it to a participating retailer (e.g. supermarkets)
- take your reusable cups to get your coffee
- support businesses that go plastic free
- choose products with less plastic content (or that use recycled plastic) and that come with less plastic or ‘styrofoam’ packaging
- choose not to use balloons and other single use products for your events
- check out the PlanetArk’s RecyclingNearYou for recycling tips and to see where you can recycle plastics that may not be collected through the yellow top bin.
Find out more about Plastic Free Places
Join ecoBiz, a free program funded by the Queensland Government to help your business to understand your waste costs and save money by introducing sustainable initiatives.
Read the Guide to reduce consumption of avoidable and single-use plastics developed to help individuals and businesses make the change.
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