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16 March, 2021

Single-use plastics banned

TAKEAWAY shops will have to do without their single-use plastic containers after the Queensland Parliament made a historic decision to outlaw their use.

By Rhys Thomas

Alima Fraser and Angelina Della Bosca from the Mareeba Deli and Wellbeing Cafe are unhappy with the sudden decision to ban single use plastics.

TAKEAWAY shops will have to do without their single-use plastic containers after the Queensland Parliament made a historic decision to outlaw their use. 

The Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Bill 2020 was passed unanimously early last Wednesday morning and will come into effect on September 1, 2021. 

Plastic Free Cairns Coordinator Helen Reilly said that Queensland is now the second state to ban single-use plastics, following in South Australia’s environmentally conscious footsteps. 

“Plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls and expanded polystyrene cups and containers will be banned,” she said. 

“These are among the most littered items in Queensland with the most recent Clean Up Australia Report for QLD estimating that over 30% of all litter collected was plastic packaging.

“Queensland is the second state in Australia to introduce laws to ban single-use plastics, we congratulate the State Government on introducing this bill.” 

Major fast food and retail chains have already started phasing out single-use plastics with major conglomerates like McDonalds using paper straws instead of plastic. 

Other plastic items such as coffee cups/lids, other plastic takeaway items and heavyweight plastic bags are intended to be added to the bill. 

Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin supports the bill and hopes it will have a positive effect on the beauty of the shire.

“I certainly welcome the move by the Queensland Government to ban single-use plastics, this is a step in the right direction in making our community more environmentally friendly,” she said. 

“Inappropriately disposing of plastics can lead to the potential for the waste to enter our land and waterways, causing knock-on effects. 

“Banning single-use plastics will reduce the threat to wildlife and marine life and beautify our streetscapes, parks and open spaces.” 

Businesses like Deli’s will also be struck hard by the new ban as they will need to source a large amount of new bio-degradable containers to house their fresh produce. 

This shift is unwelcome news to Angelina Della Bosca who manages the Mareeba Deli and Wellbeing Café where single use plastics are a mainstay and have been for years. 

“I don’t know what the alternative is for such a range of plastics like what we have to use,” she said. 

“I’m sure the cost will increase to replace the single use plastics.

“We will replace our single-use plastics if that’s the case.”  


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