Queensland has banned single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates along with polystyrene foam food containers and cups from September 1.
The sunshine state now joins Western Australia in equal first place according to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s ranking for addressing single-use plastic use.
“It’s incredible to see the plastics scorecard create a race to the top. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen South Australia’s plastic bans begin and Victoria announce its plan to ban a range of single-use plastic items,” WWF’s Katinka Day said
“NSW is now the biggest state lagging behind. It’s time for the NSW government to follow Queensland’s example and announce its own plans to address plastic pollution.”
Following the passage of laws in state parliament on Wednesday, Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said there was overwhelming community support for banning such products.
“Plastic pollution is spoiling our streets and parks, escaping into our ocean and waterways and killing our iconic wildlife,” she said in a statement.
“Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away and that litter is destroying our environment.”
The Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Act 2020 was the next step in the Palaszczuk government’s war on waste, Ms Scanlon said.
She said that during community consultations some 94 per cent of the 20,000 respondents involved supported the proposal to ban such items.
The legislation makes provision for more single-use items to be banned through regulation in the future, Ms Scanlon said.