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 policy which delivered a Container Deposit Scheme, which will 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.
DELIVERING FROM OPPOSITION
The Tim Nicholls-led LNP team led the way in delivering a scheme that will see the end of single-use plastic bags in Queensland.
We are committed to grassroots environmental initiatives and to bringing Queensland in-line with other States and Territories across Australia.
By adopting our policy, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has endorsed our real plan to provide liveable communities for all Queenslanders.
In 2005, all Australian Governments agreed to phase out plastic bags by 2008. While Labor in Queensland dragged their feet, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory all adopted a policy which has reported huge decreases in litter.
Consumers have changed their behaviour and now bring their own bags shopping, and associated surveys show widespread support for the bans.