It is estimated that close to one billion single use lightweight supermarket style plastic shopping bags are used in Queensland each year. Queensland’s Department of Environment and Heritage Protection advise that while most of these end up in landfill, around 16 million enter the environment in Queensland each year.
The lightweight plastic bags often end up in waterways endangering marine life when they become tangled up in a bag, or worse still, ingest it. In addition, the bags are an eyesore when littering parks and neighbourhoods.
To help stop this problem, the Queensland Government is enforcing a state-wide ban on single use plastic bags from 1 July 2018. Under the ban, retailers will no longer be able to provide or sell customers single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, including biodegradable bags, which are under 35 microns.
What can shoppers do?
- Take your reusable bags when shopping instead of using the supermarket style single use plastic bag.
- Keep a reusable shopping bag in your car or bag, so you are always prepared.
- You can find more information at the Queensland Government website
What can retailers do?
- Visit the Queensland Bag Ban website. They have information about how to manage the ban, details about upcoming workshops throughout Queensland, and resources retailers can download or print, such as staff training kits and signage, to assist with the change.
- The National Retail Association can assist with questions you may have and can be contacted at www.nra.net.au or 1800 RETAIL (1800 738 245).