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Australian state of Queensland phases out single-use plastics
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that all single-use plastic would be banned from Wednesday in the state as a part of the state's "war on waste."
The ban will cover single use items including plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and unenclosed bowls. The state will also bar business from providing the items with purchased meals or in packets as party supplies.
Palaszczuk said the ban is likely to follow the success of the state's 2018 ban on single-use plastic shopping bags, which reduced plastic bag litter by 70 percent.
The premier said the ban would help clean-up Queensland's natural habitats and prevent plastic items from harming animals.
"Preventing this rubbish from ending up in our beaches and waterways will protect animals like turtles, which alone have a 20 percent chance of dying if they ingest just one piece of plastic."
The ban falls under the Palaszczuk Government's 1.4 billion Australian dollar (about 1 billion U.S. dollar) COVID-19 Economic Recovery plan, which seeks to protect the environment, support business and create jobs.
"With the economy and jobs now growing and recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 thanks to our economic recovery plan, so too is our environment with the ban of even more single-use plastics," said Palaszczuk.
National Retail Association CEO Dominique Lamb said businesses and retailers across the state have been overwhelmingly supportive of the move.
"Even though many retailers have been doing it tough during the pandemic, the response has been overwhelmingly positive with retailers keen to do their bit for the environment."
"With the ban arriving soon, we encourage consumers to support these businesses by bringing reusable utensils when possible, or just being prepared that the options we provide are a little different now," said Lamb.