Queensland Government: Plastic reduction in action

Plastic pollution is a growing problem and when it ends up in the wrong place, it can negatively impact the health of our communities, our environment and wildlife.

More and more the community is seeing the impacts of plastic pollution, locally and across the world, and everyone has a role to play in tackling plastic waste.

The Queensland Government is tackling plastic waste through the Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan that sets the course for Queensland to be part of the solution and a leader in driving necessary changes.

The plan identifies and prioritises actions, at every step in the supply chain, to help reduce plastic waste and reduce the amount of plastic in and entering the environment. Some key achievements to date for Queensland include:

  • the ban on the supply of single-use, lightweight plastic shopping bags (1 July 2018), which has helped reduce the amount of plastic bag litter in the environment by 70%.
  • more than five billion containers have been recycled across the state since the Containers for Change scheme began three years ago, with Queenslanders claiming over $500 million in refunds.
  • the ban on the supply of single-use plastic straws, stirrers, plates, enclosed bowls, cutlery and expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups on 1 September 2021.

Individuals have an important role to play in reducing the impacts of plastic pollution and being more sustainable. Here are just a few simple ways individuals can make a difference (and there are plenty more). Where possible:

  • remember to take your reusable shopping bags when you go shopping
  • take reusable cups to get your coffee
  • recycle eligible drink containers through the Containers for Change program or in your yellow-top recycling bin where this service is provided
  • separate soft ‘scrunchable’ plastic waste at home and take it to a participating retailer (e.g. supermarkets) for soft plastic recycling
  • pick up littered items.

More information on how to reduce consumption of avoidable and single-use plastics can be found on the Queensland Government’s website