Changes to legislation are coming into place for Queensland to reduce their use of single use plastic – read to find out how this may affect your business.
What the single use plastic ban means for Queensland businesses
Major changes are coming into place this year for Queensland businesses as the state plans to reduce their use of single use plastic and look to more plastic alternatives. As part of their state wide plan to tackle plastic pollution, along with support from the wider community, retailers and industry organisations, a large number of single use items will be banned as of 1 September 2021.
What single use items are banned?
The single use items that are included in the ban are:
- Plastic straws (e.g. bubble tea straws, cocktail straws, straws with a scoop)
- Plastic cutlery (e.g. spoons, forks, knives, chopsticks, sporks)
- Plastic bowls & plates
- Plastic stirrers (e.g. swizzle sticks, drink stirrers)
- Expanded polystyrene containers & cups (e.g. ‘clamshell’ style containers)
While single use plastic straws and cutlery are banned, they will continue to be attached to ready-shelf, pre-packaged products. Examples include juice boxes with an attached single-use plastic straw or yoghurt containers that come with a single use plastic spoon
What does the ban mean for businesses?
Certain businesses are exempt from the single use plastic ban and will be able to continue to supply their customers with single use items. These businesses are, categorically, businesses that are directly involved with Queenslanders with disabilities or certain health needs. This is to ensure people with a permanent or temporary disability or health needs can access their required items.
The following are exempt businesses and can continue to supply banned plastic items:
- Clinics or facilities that provide care to persons with a disability or health needs
- Dental clinics
- Medical clinics
- Aged care facilities
- Medical suppliers
Businesses that can no longer supply the banned single use items will not be able to provide customers with items such as take away expanded polystyrene containers, straws and cutlery even upon request. Instead, these businesses are encouraged to source plastic alternatives. Customers with a disability, health needs or certain requirements are encouraged to plan ahead and bring their own items.
Suppliers, distributors and wholesalers of banned plastic items may continue to supply businesses if they have a reasonable belief that the business is exempt.
How will the ban be enforced?
There is a range of penalties associated with the single use items ban. Businesses that are found to be supplying a banned single use plastic item – or providing false and/or misleading information – may face a maximum fine of 50 penalty points (or $6672.50) per offence, with one penalty unit currently valued at $133.45.
What single use items are next?
Additional single use items that may follow the incoming single use plastic ban will only be banned after consultation with Queenslanders. These items include:
- Oxo-degradable single use plastic items
- Coffee cups and lids
- Other plastic cups
- Plastic dome lids
- Expanded polystyrene loose packaging
- Plastic balloon sticks
What are some of the plastic alternative items?
The single use plastic ban will make way for readily available plastic alternatives to be used instead. These items include bamboo straws, wooden cutlery and cardboard or compostable plastic containers. Ozmas are a leading distributor and supplier of a range of plastic alternatives packaging options including biodegradable and compostable packaging.
Our innovative services include an easy-to-use mobile app that makes purchasing food packaging easy! Contact the team at Ozmas on 3277 9694 or email email@example.com to learn more about our products, our online App and how we can best assist you.