MEDIA RELEASE 25 November, 2016
The peak state body for conservation groups, the Queensland Conservation Council, has strongly welcomed the announcement by Queensland Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles MP that the state government will phase out single-use plastic bags across Queensland by 2018.
The commitment today indicates recognition of the threat that the bags present to wildlife, and shows Queensland taking a strong lead on the issue and encouraging other states to also ban single-use plastic bags. The LNP earlier this week indicated it would also support such a ban during the next term of government, but by working with other states first.
“We congratulate the Queensland Environment Minister for taking a lead on the problem plastic bags represent”, 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.
“While other states have been talking about looking into the issues, Queensland bags the prize for its plastic carrier ban.
“We are really pleased to see both major parties in Queensland supporting a future ban on plastic bags. 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.
“Earlier this week, we publicly called on the Queensland Environment Minister to take a lead on this issue, and move to ban single-use plastic bags in the state as soon as possible, and then encourage other states to follow rather than wait for other states to agree to similar commitments.
“Minister Steven Miles has acted accordingly and used the opportunity of today’s National Meeting of Environment Ministers to do just that.
“We thank Minister Steven Miles for his leadership and action today on plastic bags.”
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