Get ready – Queensland’s plastic shopping bag ban goes into effect from July 1
Folks, the time has finally come – our mate and yours Mother Nature is breathing a little sigh of relief because from July 1, plastic shopping bags will be banned in Queensland. This is an absolutely monumental step forward – as our state uses around one billion single-use plastic shopping bags every year, that’s a heck of a lot less stress on the environment and landfill. Here is a quick run-down of what to expect when we ditch the bags for good.
Under the ban, retailers are no longer allowed to supply shoppers with single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags under 35 microns – in other words, those standard grey bags that you may recognise from holding all of your groceries. These bags are going to disappear completely and cannot be purchased no matter how desperate you are (so don’t go thinking you can just buy plastic bags if you forget, you sneaky sausage). Even the bags that claim to be compostable, degradable and biodegradable are out, as they break down in the environment in the same way as conventional plastic shopping bags and are essentially no better.
Your mind may immediately default to supermarkets, but Queensland’s plastic shopping-bag ban will affect retailers of all kinds. Greengrocers, bakeries, chemists, restaurants and clothes stores, as well as market-stall holders and organisations that supply plastic shopping bags, are all included in the ban along with your standard supermarkets. Any retailer can choose to provide and charge for alternative bags, which can include reusable heavy-duty plastic bags, woven polypropylene bags, paper or other bags. You can take a look at the examples here.