MEDIA RELEASE 21 November, 2016
Plastic bag ban another step closer but issue needs to be wrapped up
The peak state body for conservation groups, the Queensland Conservation Council, has welcomed the announcement by Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls MP that the LNP will back a phasing out single-use plastic bags across Queensland.
The LNP’s commitment today indicates the party acknowledges the threat that the bags present to wildlife, and will support working with other states on banning single-use plastic bags during the next term of government. This effectively matches the commitment already made by Queensland Labor and Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles.
“We are very pleased to see both major parties supporting a future ban on plastic bags but what we need is for swift action to make it happen,” said Queensland Conservation Council head Dr Tim Seelig.
“Plastic bags create a huge litter and pollution problem on land, in rivers and in our oceans. They often don’t break down, and instead are swallowed by wildlife or enter the food chain.
“To see a bipartisan approach to removing these single-use plastic bags across Queensland is a fantastic outcome for nature. We congratulate both the Government and the Opposition for their commitments to address this problem.
“However, we need to be reassured that Queensland won’t wait for other states, such as NSW and Victoria, to agree to similar commitments. Queensland should take a lead on this issue, move to ban single-use plastic bags in the state as soon as possible, and then encourage other states to follow.
“Minister Miles has the perfect opportunity to do just that ahead of next week’s National Meeting of Environment Ministers, and we urge him to seize that chance.
“Today’s announcement makes a plastic bag ban another step closer, but the issue needs to be wrapped up.
“In the meantime, we welcome the LNP’s matching commitment on plastic bags today, but we need action more urgently. We trust that the bipartisan policy approach on this will remain if action occurs earlier than the next state election, and regardless of who wins it.”
Queensland Conservation Council is a member of the Boomerang Alliance which has championed the banning of single use plastic bags and the adoption of container deposit schemes in Queensland.
For further information or comment contact:
Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator Dr Tim Seelig on 0439 201 183