Single-use plastic ban a step closer

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto with Straw No More Townsville “StrawBassador Emily Walker.

QUEENSLAND is a step closer to phasing out single-use plastic, with the introduction of a Bill in parliament last week.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto welcomed the introduction of the Waste Reduction and Recycling (Plastic Items) Amendment Bill 2020, which if passed, will ban straws, stirrers, cutlery and plates.

“Single-use plastics are a scourge on our society, clogging up our oceans and threatening marine life. With a range of better, biodegradable alternatives available, this Bill is a good, practical move,” he said.

The Bill also provides a means for more single-use plastic like coffee cups, polystyrene cups, take-away food containers and heavy weight plastic bags to be banned in the future, following public consultation.

Mr Dametto praised the advocacy of Hinchinbrook student Emily Walker in calling for the ban on single-use plastics as a Straw No More Townsville “StrawBassador”.

“Emily has been a passionate supporter of this cause and I was proud to support her efforts by arranging for her to meet with Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch when parliament sat in Townsville last year,” he said.

“Everyone knows just how much of a scourge single-use plastic is on our environment, especially our oceans, and Katter’s Australian Party already strongly supports a ban on plastic straws. A single-use plastic phase out seems like the logical next step.”

Emily, 11, said she was honoured that Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch had “recognised all of the hard work that Straw No More has been doing”.

“I think it is so awesome that young people are being listened to by our leaders and taken seriously on issues that are important to future generations,” she said.

The youngster said she had received extremely positive feedback during her time as a StrawBassador.

“I think that people are really beginning to open their eyes to how damaging single-use plastics are to our planet,” she said.

Under the Bill, a start date for the ban would be no earlier than July 1, 2021, allowing businesses and the hospitality industry time to source new products.

Nick Dametto MP