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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Queensland Government to investigate options to reduce packaging waste

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Wednesday, May 20, 2015

    Queensland Government to investigate options to reduce packaging waste

    The Queensland Government will work with New South Wales to investigate a container deposit scheme and possible restrictions on single-use plastic bags. 

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Steven Miles said the increasing amount of plastic finding its way into the environment was concerning, and plastic litter entering waterways had the potential to cause significant impacts on marine life. 

    Dr Miles said the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection received a considerable amount of correspondence from members of the public calling for the introduction of a container deposit scheme. 

    “Container deposit schemes are popular with the community, encourage recycling and cut waste,” Dr Miles said.

    “The scheme has proven successful in reducing beverage container litter in South Australia, and New South Wales has also recently announced plans to introduce a scheme. 

    “I’m pleased to report that an Advisory Group will be established to assist in preparing for public consultation later this year. 

    “By working closely with key stakeholders we will ensure the best outcome for the people of Queensland. 

    “I will look at how the New South Wales Government implements their scheme and we will be working closely with them.” 

    Dr Miles said while drink bottles were the most common item found in the environment, plastic bags were also found in significant numbers. 

    “Across the country, between 2003 and 2005, major retailers voluntarily introduced measures to reduce the use of plastic bags, during which time plastic bag use decreased by around 45 per cent,” Dr Miles said. 

    “Unfortunately, in the 10 years since the voluntary action expired, plastic bag use has started to increase again. 

    “South Australia, Northern Territory, the ACT and Tasmania have all banned the use of single-use plastic bags, and I am interested in seeing what may work both at a national and state level.” 

    ENDS 

    Media contact: 3719 7336; 0437 533 172