Countdown on for Queensland’s plastic bag ban

As well as paper bags, Tash Murphy shows some of the options available at Tin Can Bay IGA when we go plastic bag free in July

As well as paper bags, Tash Murphy shows some of the options available at Tin Can Bay IGA when we go plastic bag free in July

It is now only one month until Queensland’s plastic bag ban comes into effect so retailers and the community need to be prepared.

Minister for Environment, Leeanne Enoch confirmed Queenslanders use almost one billion plastic shopping bags each year.

“This figure is astonishing, if you laid out all of these bags, end to end, they would reach from Coolangatta to the top of Cape York more than 160 times,” Ms Enoch said.

“And sadly about 16 million plastic bags end up in our environment every year.

“This ban is one step to reduce single-use plastic items in an effort to tackle the growing challenge of plastic pollution.

“The ban will also help keep our state beautiful for generations to come and reduce the impact of plastic pollution on our treasured environment and wildlife.”

From July 1, retailers will no longer be able to supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness to customers, for free or at a charge.

Already some retailers already replacing plastic shopping bags in preparation of the ban.

“It’s also an important time for households to start planning how they can use reusable shopping bags.

“Most household are likely to already have alternative bags they can use such as reusable ‘green’ bags or bags they use every day, like a backpack.

The plastic bag ban applies to all retailers including market-stall holders and organisations which supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags for in-store and online sales.

Retailers that continue to supply banned bags after July 1 could face a fine of up to $6,300 per offence. A similar fine also applies to any person, such as a supplier, who provides misleading information about banned bags.

Find out more at: www.qld.gov.au/plasticbagban.