The National Retail Association (NRA) supports the re-introduction of legislation to ban single-use plastic items in Queensland, starting with straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates.
The NRA commends the Queensland Government’s strong track record reducing the devastating impact of plastic waste and protecting our environment and marine life.
The NRA is proud to be active members of the Queensland Single-Use Plastics Stakeholder Taskforce, building on our extensive history working with the Queensland Government on the ban on single-use plastic bags, the Containers for Change program and now the single-use plastics ban.
NRA Director of Policy David Stout said that the NRA is looking forward to working with the Queensland Government to help deliver retailer engagement and education on the ban.
“The NRA and our members have been instrumental in some of the most significant environmental changes in Australia, from billions of lightweight plastic bags being prevented from consumption since Queensland’s bag ban, to collaborating on key taskforces responsible for rolling out container deposit schemes,” Mr Stout said.
“Community sentiment is clear with 94 per cent of the 20,000 respondents to the government survey supporting the proposal to ban a range of single-use plastic items in Queensland.
Mr Stout noted that he believed the Queensland Government had given fair consideration to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging challenges for businesses to comply.
“We believe the ban start date will be no earlier than 1 September 2021, to be confirmed once the Bill passes in early 2021,” Mr Stout said.
“Retailers, especially cafes and restaurants, have been doing it tough with many forced to close during the height of the pandemic, and they need time and support to comply.”
“It’s not as simple as switching it out one day – retailers often order a years’ worth of stock in advance, and they now need time to exhaust those supplies, research alternatives, negotiate new supply chains, train their teams, and educate their customers.”
Consultation is now open to community and industry to consider whether single-use expanded polystyrene (EPS) foodware should be included in the ban.
The NRA supports the inclusion of EPS containers, clam-shells and cups, as well as oxo-degradable plastics in the ban.
“Most national fast food restaurants ceased using EPS foodware over a decade ago.
“These items are due to be banned in other Australian jurisdictions and we urge governments to harmonise initiatives to provide certainty for retailers and consumers.”
Queenslanders, stakeholders and the community are encouraged to provide feedback by visiting https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/pollution/management/waste/recovery/reduction/plastic-pollution/expanded-polystyrene