Workshops are being held in more than 90 locations across Queensland to help retailers prepare for the ban on lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags coming into force on July 1 next year.
“We are working closely with the National Retail Association to prepare for the ban, with the association now holding workshops and info sessions across the state to provide retailers with the information and resources they will need to manage the ban,” Environment Minister Steven Miles said.
Mr Miles said the workshops would be held through to December this year.
“The National Retail Association has an excellent web resource available that provides comprehensive information on the ban and what it may mean for the retail sector.
“The website also provides dates and locations for the workshops and is an excellent resource for members of the public as well.”
The website is at www.qldbagban.com.au/.
Mr Miles said State Parliament recently unanimously passed legislation introducing the ban.
“All sides of politics support the ban, and our extensive public consultation showed 96 per cent of Queenslanders want it.
“It’s hard to conceive that in this state we use almost a billion of these bags every year and 16 million of them end up as litter.
“The evidence is also irrefutable – this not only leaves our public spaces and environment unsightly, it also kills our marine wildlife that can ingest or get caught up in many of the bags that make their way to our waterways and oceans.
“I do stress however, that the ban applies only to the lightweight single-use plastic shopping bag, it does not apply to the many other types of plastic bags we use, such as nappy bags and dog waste bags, which fortunately we use in far fewer numbers,” Mr Miles said.
“And I want to acknowledge those retailers who have already gone plastic bag free. The recent announcement by the major supermarkets about a national plastic bag ban in their stores shows that the lightweight plastic bag definitely has a limited shelf life.”
National Retail Association Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said the association was delighted the ban had passed into law.
“We agree that it’s long been time for all Queenslanders to address the litter issue and the removal of these types of bags from the retail sector will go some way towards this,” Ms Lamb said.
“The association is working with the Queensland Government to make sure that retailers and consumers are ready and prepared for the ban when it comes into play next year.”
“Our website has been set up specifically to help retailers understand about the ban and provide useful information that they can use to talk to their customers, along with details about suitable alternatives to the single use plastic shopping bag.
“I would urge retailers to come to our workshops and info sessions and arrange to meet with an NRA representative face-to-face if they wish to, when we are in their area,” Ms Lamb said.
Released by Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef, The Honourable Steven Miles.