Article written by 96five Intern – Stephanie Acraman
From July 1 next year, plastic bags will officially be banned in Queensland! This move comes following a bill which was passed through Parliament on Tuesday night.
The ban encompasses all light-weight plastic bags, including those that fall in the biodegradable category – however the reusable bags typically sold in department stores will be one of the only bags to remain allowed in stores.
Environment Minister Steven Miles said the ban reflects the “overwhelming” community support for the bill to be passed.
“On average, a single-use plastic bag is used for just 12 minutes, but can take up to 1000 years to fully decompose,”
“Australians use over 5 billion of such plastic bags every year, with an estimated 900 million used here in Queensland.”
This act also comes with a ‘recycling refund scheme’ which is hoped to further ensure the environmental impact on our landfill and in the oceans will be kept to a minimum starting next year.
This scheme involves trading plastic drink bottles between 150mls and 3L for a 10-cent return. Milk, wine, and juice bottles, however, will be exempt from this scheme. The first example of said machine can already be found at Parliament House.
This ban comes as a result of the ACT’s plastic bag ban being reviewed in 2012 and 2014, where 70% of individuals living in the area saying they didn’t want the ban overturned.