A Plastic Free Douglas is one step closer

SINGLE-USE PLASTICS

Karlie Brady

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Mayor Julia Leu has congratulated the State Government on its proposal to ban single-use plastics such as straws, cutlery, plates, and stirrers in Queensland from as early as next year.

Under the Plastic Pollution Reduction Plan released yesterday by the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland will enter the next phase of the war on waste.

This could see legislation introduced in 2020 to prohibit further single-use plastics following the state-wide ban of single-use grocery bags last year.

Mayor Leu said reduction of plastic waste is particularly important in the Douglas Shire due to our environment.

“Our economy depends upon our pristine environment,” she said.

“You only have to look at the photos on the internet of sea turtles with plastic straws embedded in their noses or stomachs full of balloons, or birds and marine animals caught and killed by plastic litter to see we need to act.”

Mayor Leu said Plastic Free Douglas, a collaboration between Council and local environmental organisations will continue their mission to reduce the impact of plastics in the local region.

“Some of their initiatives have included working with local supermarkets and Boomerang Bags during the switch away from single-use plastic shopping bags to encourage customers to find alternatives to plastic bags in general.”

In an effort to encourage people to stop buying plastic water bottles Council has allocated $25,000 for hydration stations to be used at events around the Shire.

Council and Tangaroa Blue have also recently launched the Butt it Bin it program to remind smokers that cigarette butts are plastic and last for years in our environment.

Minister for Environment and Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said there is a growing concern amongst Queenslanders about the amount of plastic being used in everyday life.

“Majority of Queenslanders (seven out of ten) already take steps to reduce their use of single-use plastics, but there is always more we can do to tackle pollution.

“Both government and the community need to work together and while research shows Queenslanders are on board with tackling plastics, we will undertake extensive consultation with the community on this issue.”

Minister Enoch said the State Government’s plan is an Australian first in its scope and structure and takes a holistic approach to the complex nature and impacts of plastic throughout its supply chain and identifies actions that can be taken.

“We will also identify and develop new businesses and markets to transform the way plastic is recovered, reused and recycled; creating new jobs and industries for Queensland,” she said.

“We want a bright future for Queensland and tackling plastic will help ensure we leave this state a better place for our future generations,” Minister Enoch said.


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