SINGLE use plastic bags will be banned in Queensland after State Parliament unanimously passed new laws on Tuesday night.
Included in the new laws, most drink containers ranging between 150ml and 3 litres will become eligible for a 10 cent refund when returned to a designated container refund point.
The ban on single use plastic bags will come into effect on July 1, 2018.
Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles said bipartisan support in the state reflected strong community support for banning plastic bags.
“These initiatives will stop the scourge of plastic shopping bags, and put a price on beverage containers so they get recycled,” he said.
“By passing this Bill we say to our young people that we value our wildlife, especially our marine creatures like turtles, sea birds and dugongs.
“We say that we want our parks, our waterways, Moreton Bay and the Great Barrier Reef to be litter free.”
South Australia banned plastic bags in 2009, and Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT also have bans in place.
It leaves only NSW, Victoria and Western Australia as states where they remain legal — prompting The Project’s Waleed Aly to call on their premiers to act.
During his “Something We Should Talk About” editorial on the show in April, Aly took aim at Australia’s astronomical use of plastic bags.
“We each send almost 700 kilos of waste to landfill every year, and man do we love a plastic bag,” Aly said.
“It’s estimated Australians use between four and six billion plastic bags annually. We use more than 10 million plastic bags, every day. And just since I’ve been speaking, Australians have dumped 7150 plastic bags into landfill.”
Victoria and Western Australia could be next, with the Victorian Government advocating a national ban, but indicating in July that it may "go it alone” if this fails.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has said he is open to the idea of banning plastic bags if alternative options are equally convenient for shoppers.
Mr McGowan also said he supported local councils being able to make their own decisions, after the City of Fremantle’s attempt was prevented by the Barnett government in 2015.