Retailers have welcomed Queensland Government’s updated roadmap to further reduce single-use packaging waste during the next five years.
From September 1 next year, the government has banned cotton buds with plastic stems, heavy-weight plastic bags, plastic microbeads and polystyrene loose packaging. Single-use produce bags, plastic drinking cups and magazine pouches/wraps will also likely be banned from 2024.
Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra said the state government’s roadmap sends a “strong message” about the severe damage such single-use plastics cause to the natural environment.
“The roadmap announced confirms that heavy plastic shopping bags can continue to be used beyond September next year, provided they meet minimum standards for reusability and recyclability.
“This is a common-sense approach that incentivises investment and innovation in the circular economy and is something we’d like to see replicated in the other states and territories.”
Though major retailers have the biggest impact on the environment, Zahra added government should work with small businesses to provide necessary training and education to help them transition easily.
National Retail Association chief Dominique Lamb said the new regulations should still accommodate shoppers who forget to bring their own bags or make unplanned purchases.
“This recognises that there is no “one-size fits all” approach when it comes to shopping bags and that retailers need to be free to choose the most sustainable approach that best suits them and their customers.
“These changes will ensure that those who choose to do the right thing don’t suffer as a result, while lifting the standard for all businesses and shoppers.”