A Tim Nicholls-led Liberal National Government will work for a nationally-consistent approach to phasing out single-use plastic bags to bring Queensland in line with other States and Territories.
On average a single-use plastic bag is used for just 12 minutes but takes up to 1000 years to fully decompose. Australians use over 5 billion plastic bags every year, 1 billion of those right here in Queensland.
Plastic bags break ‘up’, not down, into smaller bits posing an even greater threat for wildlife to swallow. Around 30 per cent of sea turtle deaths in Moreton Bay are attributable to plastic ingestion and 70 per cent of Loggerheads in Queensland waters have ingested plastics (Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland).
The LNP is genuine about improving our environment. Our policy on single-use plastic bags is a clear and important commitment to keeping Queensland beautiful. It follows our commitment to introduce a Container Deposit Scheme, which promises to cut pollution and create hundreds of jobs in Queensland’s recycling sector.
The LNP has a strong track record when it comes to tackling litter and supporting grassroots efforts to clean up our environment. In government, the LNP:
- introduced a waste avoidance strategy identifying plastic bags as the highest priority waste for action to reduce landfill and littering
- partnered with the Toowoomba, Southern Downs and Goondiwindi councils in the state’s south west, alongside the Queensland Murray Darling Committee and the Australian Packaging Covenant to address the problem of roadside litter
- established the popular Everyone’s Environment grants program which provided $12 million to community organisations to clean-up, restore and protect their local environment, and
- provided grants to councils to install surveillance cameras to help stamp out illegal dumping in Queensland.
Our Real Plan
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will work with New South Wales and Victoria to develop a nationally-consistent approach that would see the end of single-use plastic bags.
We are committed to grassroots environmental initiatives and to bringing Queensland in-line with other States and Territories across Australia.
In 2005, all Australian Governments agreed to phase out plastic bags by 2008. To date only four (South Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory) have and these states have reported huge decreases in litter. Consumers have changed their behaviour and bring their own bags, and associated surveys show widespread support for the bans.
The LNP wants a nationally-consistent agreement reached as soon as possible on a range of options to phase out single-use plastic bags.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are plastic bags such a problem?
Plastic bags are persistent and toxic in the environment and kill over 1 million birds and 100,000 sea mammals every year. So called, ‘biodegradable’ bags pose an even greater risk because they break into smaller bits that resemble food for sea creatures.
Has this worked in other countries?
While only four Australian states and territories have phased out plastic bags, over 30 countries around the world have either banned or levied plastic bags. California has banned plastic bags and the United Kingdom has a levy on all supermarket plastic bags.
When will the ban come into effect?
The LNP wants a nationally-consistent agreement reached as soon as possible and will phase out singleuse plastic bags during its first term if elected.
What happens if a nationally-consistent agreement cannot be negotiated.
If a nationally-consistent agreement cannot be reached, the LNP will push forward and phase out single-use plastic bags in Queensland just like South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have already done.
What is currently being done to phase out plastic bags in Queensland?
The Queensland Waste Avoidance and Resource Productivity Strategy (2014-2024) was introduced by the LNP Government in 2014. It identified plastic bags as the highest priority waste for action to reduce landfill and littering.
The Governments of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria have agreed to work together on nationally-consistent options on plastic bags, yet little has been achieved to date.