Today, the National Retail Association (NRA) joined Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon and Jess Pugh MP at Mt Ommaney shopping centre to remind businesses and community that the QLD single-use plastic items ban is just over a month away.
The NRA says Queensland businesses are doing their bit to tackle plastic pollution by starting to prepare for the single-use plastic items ban which comes into effect 1 September 2021.
The new laws ban the supply of single-use plastic straws, cutlery, stirrers, plates, unenclosed bowls, as well as takeaway food containers and cups made from expanded polystyrene. The ban prevents these items being supplied in Queensland regardless of whether they are free with your meal or sold in packets like party supplies.
NRA Policy Project Manager Ebony Johnson urged businesses to get up to speed with their responsibilities for the upcoming ban, run down existing stock and source appropriate alternative products where needed.
“The NRA has partnered with the Queensland Government to educate businesses about the new ban and what they must do to comply, as well as options to manage excess stock and minimise negative impacts on businesses,” said Ms Johnson.
“The NRA is visiting up to 7500 retailers in their stores across Queensland, as well as online support and a telephone hotline 1800 844 946 to offer personalised advice to businesses.
“Retailers, especially food business, have been doing it tough with many forced to close during the height of the pandemic so we’re trying to offer personalised assistance and advice to as many as possible.
Ms Johnson noted that retailers needed to be careful when ordering alternatives to ensure they comply with the ban including certifications where required, and to make sure they are fit-for-purpose.
“Businesses need to make sure they understand the ban and then carefully consider their options rather than just switching to wood or paper alternatives. Some may be able to simply stop offering straws or make wooden cutlery optional if most customers order home delivery,” said Ms Johnson.
“We encourage consumers to help QLD businesses to reduce waste by bringing reusables, thinking about whether you need straws or cutlery, or just understanding that tableware items we offer will be a little different now.”
“Businesses which operate stores across Australia should also be aware of bans in other jurisdictions which vary in the items banned and the alternatives allowed.”
Businesses seeking information about the QLD ban, or those in other states/territories, should visit the National Retail Association’s dedicated website www.qldplasticsban.com.au or call 1800 844 946.
Boomerang Alliance has also been appointed by the Queensland Government to explain the changes to community and not-for-profit organisations. Register for one of their community sessions here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/qld-plastic-ban-tour-2021-tickets-156022305917