10 Mar 2021


Queensland has reclaimed the top spot on WWF-Australia’s plastics scorecard today after passing legislation to ban harmful single-use plastic items, including polystyrene cups and takeaway containers.

Queensland becomes the second state to pass single-use plastic legislation after South Australia, voting to ban plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates and bowls and expanded polystyrene containers and cups from September 2021.

Other items including coffee cups and lids, other plastic cups and heavyweight plastic bags will be considered for action in the future.

“Today’s decision will finally stop some of the most polluting and lethal single-use plastics from entering Queensland’s beaches and waterways,” said Katinka Day, WWF-Australia’s No Plastics in Nature Policy Manager.

“We’re pleased by the decision to include polystyrene cups and takeaway containers in the first tranche of plastics to be banned. Due to its light weight and propensity to break down, expanded polystyrene is among the most dangerous and prevalent plastics in our environment."

“There are viable alternatives to polystyrene so banning this material for takeaway foodware is an urgent priority.”

Expanded polystyrene wasn’t included in the original legislation, but the government decided to add the problematic plastic to its list of banned items following a public consultation and calls from WWF and other conservation organisations.

Queensland now joins Western Australia in equal first place on WWF-Australia’s plastics scorecard, which rates the performance of states and territories in tackling single-use plastics.

“It’s incredible to see the plastics scorecard create a race to the top. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen South Australia’s plastic bans begin and Victoria announce its plan to ban a range of single-use plastic items,” said Ms Day.

“NSW is now the biggest state lagging behind. It’s time for the NSW Government to follow Queensland’s example and announce its own plans to address plastic pollution."

“A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans each year and plastic dumped in one region can travel and impact others. We need our governments to take the lead in tackling this global disaster.”