Queensland government bans plastic shopping bag from 1 July 2018

AUSTRALIA:The plastic shopping bag ban will apply to all retailers in Queensland for in-store and online sales from 1 July 2018.

This initiative by the Queensland Government, combined with the support of the community and retailers, will help reduce the total plastic load in the environment.

The impacts of plastic pollution on our environment and especially on our marine life are a very real concern to the Queensland Government and the community.

Plastic shopping bags in particular are of significant concern. When these plastic bags get into waterways and the marine environment, animals such as sea turtles and sea birds can swallow or become entangled in them.

As well as their environmental impacts, littered plastic shopping bags are unsightly, can clog up infrastructure, and are difficult and costly to clean up.

Retailers are no longer able to supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness to customers, for free or at a charge. This includes compostable, degradable and biodegradable bags as they behave in the environment in the same way as conventional plastic shopping bags and can still harm the environment and wildlife.

It is estimated that close to one billion single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags are used in Queensland each year.

While the majority of these bags end up in landfill, around 16 million plastic shopping bags end up in the environment in Queensland each year. This is equivalent in weight to 96 small cars.

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