The National Retail Association plus industry and community groups have contacted the Queensland Government today to express their support for a ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) foodware.
Members of the QLD Stakeholder Advisory Group on the proposed single-use plastics ban, have written a joint letter recommending that EPS takeaway cups, bowls, plates and clam-shells also be banned in Queensland.
Based on recent consultation, QLD is proposing bans on single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates. This excludes items within pre-packaged goods and allows for certified compostable alternatives, while also allowing for fair and equitable access to those with a disability. The bans may come into effect by mid 2021, or 12 to 18 months from legislation being passed.
The NRA and other members of the advisory group have recommended that EPS takeaway cups, bowls, plates and clam-shells be included in the first round of bans to address this problematic plastic, and align with bans due to be introduced in other states around the same time.
There are many cost-effective, recyclable or compostable alternatives to EPS takeaway foodware. While the majority of national retailers ceased using EPS foodware over a decade ago, these products continue to be promoted to smaller businesses by some suppliers.
The NRA, in particular, supports national alignment of government policy, as having different laws across borders within Australia increases costs and complexity for retailers, suppliers and consumers. Even small Australian businesses sell across state and territory borders (including online through food delivery apps), therefore differences in laws can be extremely confusing and costly.
The recommendation to ban EPS takeaway foodware is supported by the National Retail Association, Local Government Association (Qld), Australian Food and Groceries Council, Boomerang Alliance, WWF Australia, QLD Disability Advisory Council and Master Grocers Association.
The National Retail Association is extensively involved in sustainability initiatives, including lightweight plastic bags and other single-use plastics bans across all jurisdictions. We represent retailer perspectives and challenges to government, and encourage national consistency to prevent negative impacts and confusion.
Retailers seeking more information, clarification or personalised advice on how to successfully manage sustainability initiatives should contact the NRA Policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org