1 July 2019 marks the one-year anniversary of the ban on single-use lightweight plastic bags in Queensland, the start of the state government's waste levy and Plastic Free July.
1 July 2019
On the first anniversary of the ban on lightweight plastic bags, we are happy to report that the ban has had a positive effect.
A total of 900 million single-use plastic bags do not exist thanks to the statewide plastic bag ban, which came into effect on 1 July 2018, according to the National Retail Association.
The Queensland Government reports a 70% reduction in reported lightweight plastic bag litter in Queensland.
The two major supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths have also put out statements to confirm that most consumers have switched practices with 7 out of 10 now using their own shopping bags. According to the supermarkets, they have issued 4.7 billion less plastic bags between them in Australia since the ban came into force.
Thick plastic bags must go!
According to the supermarkets, there are about 20-30% of shoppers buying thick bags to carry their shopping. We need to address this practice as these bags can still get littered and are unnecessary.
Wildlife Queensland has asked the Queensland Government to put forward a proposal to all other governments for a national phase-out of thick plastic bags. We have proposed that this could reasonably be set by 2021. We want the Government to present a proposal at the next Meeting of Environment Ministers. This is currently scheduled for August 2019.
War on waste (levy)
This month also heralded the start of the state government’s waste levy which put a $75-per-tonne price tag on rubbish and was expected to generate $433 million during the next financial year.
The levy was designed to be an attempt to stem the tide of New South Wales trucks coming across the border to dump thousands of tonnes of garbage in Queensland landfills.
Are you Plastic Free July ready?
Find everything you need to go Plastic Free in July here at Wildlife Queensland.
To support #PlasticFreeJuly, Wildlife Queensland has stocked its online store with a great new range of reusable products. Everything you (and your friends & family) need to help ditch the plastic this July (and beyond). Browse the shop!
WIN with Wildlife Queensland Plastic Free July Competition!
Don’t miss our Plastic Free July Competition! Tell us what you’re doing to reduce plastic waste this July and WIN some great reusable product prizes. Enter now!
- Single-Use Plastics: The Next Steps