Single-use plastics to be banned in Queensland from 1 September, retailers respond on the issue.

The National Retail Association (NRA) commends the Queensland Government for passing legislation yesterday to ban single-use plastics in Queensland, starting with straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates, as well as expanded polystyrene foodware.

The NRA commends the Palaszczuk Government’s strong track record reducing the 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.

Director of Policy David Stout said that the Association is looking forward to working with the Queensland Government to help with retailer engagement and education on the ban.

“We commend Minister for the Environment Meaghan Scanlon and her team for their continued commitment to working with industry, community and the public to deliver environmental outcomes. 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 start date of 1 September 2021 is reasonable but we urge government to commence business and consumer education as soon as possible. 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.”

“Retailers are eager to comply and we will continue to work with government to seek clarity for businesses.”