Plastic straws would be banned under new Queensland single-use plastics plan


Single-use plastics could be banned in Queensland as early as next year after the Palaszczuk Government announced a proposed plan to "tackle pollution".

Key points:

The plan will also look at ways for plastic to be recovered, reused and recycledEnvironment Minister Leanne Enoch said the scope of the strategy was an "Australian first"Extensive consultation will take place with the community

The new plan would see plastic straws, cutlery and plates scrapped under new legislation to be introduced next year.

The State Government would also consider extending the ban "down the track" to include coffee cups, plastic cups and heavyweight shopping bags.

Whether it is retailers or suppliers, some businesses are already making the transformation.


Mick Krause decided to get out of plastics in June last year at his food-packaging business north of Brisbane as sales dropped.

He used to sell 2,500 cartons, or 12.5 million straws, a month.

Within a matter of three months, that dropped to 500 cartons.

One entire wall of his North Lakes warehouse is lined floor-to-ceiling with about $140,000 worth of stock he is struggling to sell.

"We've never seen the change happen and transition so quickly in a very short space of time," he said.

"It's all market driven."

Mr Krause now imports eco-friendlier products made from paper, bamboo, palm leaf or corn starch.

But he said infrastructure — to complete the waste cycle — is lacking.

For example, straws made from corn starch need to be industrially composted through heating.

"Unfortunately there's only about 10 locations in Australia at the moment that can actually process those type of straws," he said.

"Whether we blame the Government or not, the infrastructure is just not there at the moment."


The Queensland Government said its plan would also look at finding new ways for plastic to be recovered, reused and recycled.

National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb said business welcomed the move, which she said consumers have been calling for "for some time".

"But obviously from an industry-wide perspective, consultation is going to be the key, because you can't just simply pull those products, as we know, from stores because it causes a lot of consumer angst."

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said the LNP backed "action to cut down on plastics and grass roots environmentalism" but wanted to see the details of the proposal.