North Lakes shoppers and retail workers need to start preparing for the ban on single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags starting on 1 July 2018, Chris Whiting MP said.
Chris Whiting said the ban on supply of these bags will mean a change in our shopping habits, but believes Queenslanders want to help reduce the amount of plastic getting into the ocean and our waterways.
“North Lakes has the most dynamic and interesting shopping experience in SEQ, and our community needs to the ready for this big change coming in on July 1,” said Chris Whiting.
“We need to take action to protect our unique environment from nearly one billion single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags used in Queensland each year.
“While the majority of these bags end up in landfill, around 16 million lightweight plastic shopping bags enter the environment in Queensland each year.
“Sea turtles and sea birds can ingest these bags or become entangled in them.
“Littered plastic bags are unsightly, can clog up infrastructure, and are difficult and costly to clean up,” said Chris Whiting.
In February 2017, a consultation paper seeking feedback from the public on a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags attracted more than 26,000 submissions and an overwhelming 96% supported the introduction of a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags.
North Lakes shop owners and workers need to know the plastic bag ban will apply to all retailers in Queensland.
From 1 July 2018, Plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness (a single-use or lightweight plastic shopping bag) will no longer be able to be sold or given to the customer.
This includes compostable, degradable and biodegradable plastic shopping bags, as these can still harm wildlife if littered.
Retailers may choose to provide and charge for alternative bags including reusable heavy duty plastic bags, woven polypropylene “green bags,” paper or other bags. Shoppers can also bring their own bag or trolley.
Types of bags which will not be banned include:
• barrier bags for unpackaged perishable food such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.
• bin liners and garbage bags
• ‘dog park’ bags provided by Councils at dog parks and beaches
• paper bags or cardboard bags
• heavier weight single-use department store plastic bags.
“I know North Lakes shoppers are already changing their shopping habits in preparation for the single use plastic bag ban,” said Chris Whiting.
“Many are already taking reusable bags shopping instead of relying on the single-use bags provided in-store.
“I want to encourage shoppers to keep some reusable bags in your car for those unexpected trips to the shops,” said Chris Whiting.