Queensland bans single-use plastics

Reduction in plastics to reduce waste and help the environment.

New laws ban the use of single-use plastics in Queensland.

In conjunction with the National Retail Association (NRA) and the Boomerang Alliance, the Queensland Government has been conducting a travelling roadshow around the state to raise awareness of the ban which came into effect on 1 September.

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the ban would apply to single-use plastic items such as straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and unenclosed bowls, as well as expanded polystyrene cups and takeaway containers.

“The ban prevents plastic items being supplied in Queensland regardless of whether they are free with your meal or sold in packets in party supply stores,” Ms Scanlon said.

There will be exemptions for particular organisations to ensure Queenslanders with a disability or healthcare needs can continue to access necessary items.

“Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once, ending up in landfill and harming our environment,” Ms Scanlon said.

“We’ve already seen the enormous benefits of the lightweight single-use plastic shopping bag ban, with surveys showing a 70% reduction in all plastic bag litter since the bag ban began in 2018.”

The NRA was appointed to educate businesses on the ban.

That has included visits to up to 7500 businesses across the state and running a telephone hotline advising on banned items and suitable alternative products.

Information is available by calling the hotline (1800 844 946) or visiting the website

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said many retailers were proactive in sustainability efforts and had moved away from “single-use” plastics, such as straws, cutlery and other items.

“Queensland businesses are already transitioning to comply with the ban and we encourage consumers to support them by bringing reusables, thinking about whether you need straws or cutlery, or just understanding that tableware items we offer will be a little different now,” Ms Lamb said.

“The NRA supports these initiatives to improve environmental impacts from single-use plastics and has worked hard with government and industry to ensure these laws are nationally consistent, fair for all retailers, are carefully considered and researched, and are realistic.

“I am pleased that Queensland’s new laws have taken our views on board and business will work to ensure their success.”

Queensland Manager of Boomerang Alliance Toby Hutcheon said Boomerang Alliance ran forums throughout Queensland on behalf of the State Government.

“We are conducting these forums to answer questions on what items are included in the ban, what alternative products can be used, and how individual businesses and the community can adapt to comply with the ban,” Mr Hutcheon said.

“These forums complement the programs Boomerang Alliance runs that support the reduction in single-use plastics, including our Plastic Free Places in Townsville, Cairns and Noosa.”

The Boomerang Alliance acts as  a collective voice for more than 50 groups, or allies, who are passionate about the negative impact of waste on our environment.

Single-use items included in the ban

  • Plastic straws
  • Plastic stirrers
  • Plastic plates and bowls
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers and cups.