Queensland Moves To Ban Single-Use Plastic Straws, Cutlery And Plates To Save Marine Life
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Queensland has made a move to ban single-use plastic straws, cutlery and plates by next year.
The move will hopefully help protect marine life, with a great deal of single-use plastic ending up in our oceans every year.
The legislation was submitted this week and if passed it would bring the Sunshine State in line with South Australia in eliminating the waste from being produced and used by the masses.
The rule would ban those single-use plastics as early as 1 July next year.
Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said: "That's an overwhelming statement from communities wanting to find a positive solution to reducing plastic waste and protecting our environment."
In addition to straws, cutlery and plates, the legislation would also allow Queensland to get rid of coffee cups, polystyrene cups, plastic takeaway containers, and single-use items. It will be a big move for restaurants who rely on the containers to carry their food.
There will be exceptions for people with disabilities or medical requirements, who might, for whatever reason, require access to a plastic straw.
Pharmacies, schools, and care facilities will also have the right to stock plastic straws for people who need them.
WWF Australia's Katinka Day has welcome the decision to get tough on single-use plastics.
"It's wonderful to see the sunshine state leading the way to phase out some of the most littered plastics on our beautiful beaches," she said.
"Plastic items like straws, plates and utensils are often discarded after a single use, ending up in landfill or our oceans for hundreds of years."
AMCS's plastics spokesperson Shane Cucow added: "Plastic straws and cutlery are among the most lethal plastics for wildlife like seabirds and turtles.
"Sharp, highly likely to be contaminated and commonly found in waterways, these plastics can cause serious injuries. They get stuck in airways and cause painful internal injuries and poisoning when eaten."
Before the legislation gets to be approved by the Queensland parliament, it will have to go before a committee.