Single-use plastics ban in Queensland

The Queensland Government has proposed certain single-use plastic products to be banned from sale or supply, with a start date after July 1, 2021. This is an exciting step towards eliminating single-use plastics, and makes Queensland a leader of the country.

What would be banned?

Plastic straws would be banned from sale or supply under the proposed plastics ban.

The government consulted the public and stakeholders, and proposed the following products to be banned:

  • Straws
  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Stirrers

Straws and cutlery that form part of a product, such as the straw attached to a juice box, are exempt from the ban until the government can consult with manufacturers.

What did the public say?

94% of Queenslander surveyed supported a single-use plastic ban.

Almost 20,000 Queenslanders and businesses had a say on the proposed ban.

  • 94% supported a ban on single-use plastic straws, plates, cutlery, and stirrers
  • There is strong support for banning other single-use plastic items, like takeaway plastic and polystyrene containers and cups
  • 90% agreed that a start date after July 1, 2021, was sufficient time to introduce the ban
  • One in three supported exemption to the ban, especially for people with healthcare or disability needs who require the use of straws
  • 80% agreed that more voluntary action to reduce single-use plastics would help reduce plastic pollution, supported by education and awareness campaigns.

(Some people, such as those with disability or healthcare needs, will require continued access to these products. The government is developing special considerations in consultation with these groups.)

Available alternatives

There are alternatives available to replace the single-use plastic items.

The products proposed to be banned have readily available alternatives, and in many cases could simply be avoided completely. For example:

  • Single-use plastic straws (not always required) – paper straws and reusable straws made from bamboo, stainless steel, and silicone
  • Single-use plastic cutlery – reusable cutlery made from stainless steel, heavy-weight plastic, and bamboo
  • Single-use plastic plates – paper and reusable plastic plates and crockery
  • Single-use plastic drink stirrers (not always required) – wooden paddle-pop sticks, stainless steel teaspoons.

What’s next?

In the future, the government will consider banning other items, such as takeaway coffee cups and ‘reusable’ plastic shopping bags.

The government will consider banning other single-use plastic products in the future, including:

  • Coffee and other plastic cups
  • Heavyweight plastic shopping bags
  • Some polystyrene packaging and plastic takeaway food and drink containers
  • Plastic balloon sticks

To learn what alternatives to plastic we provide, see our product page.


Information taken from the Queensland Government website.

Read about how to reduce coffee cups in landfill, and the history of plastic, on our blog.


Article by Tallis Baker

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