The Queensland Government has announced it will ban single-use plastic shopping bags from 2018.

Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) campaigner James Cordwell welcomed the news.

“AMCS welcomes the announcement by Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles that Queensland will ban single-use plastic by 2018. This is a hugely significant step towards reducing marine plastic pollution and the severe impacts it has on our unique marine life.

“Plastic pollution travels easily from land to sea. It blows in from bins and garbage dumps, or flows through stormwater drains into our waterways and eventually the sea. Once in the ocean, it slowly breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces which are eaten by animals at the bottom of our food chains.

“Larger pieces of plastic floating in our oceans are readily mistaken for food by marine life, such as the green sea turtle or bottlenose dolphin, and can lead to marine life becoming entangled and strangled or choked and starved.

“The banning of bags, along with the implementation of a Container Deposit Scheme, are two encouraging steps for Queensland. These are crucial moves to put an end to an era of these highly damaging items from impacting on our marine environment,” Mr Cordwell said.

The QLD LNP has also expressed support for a phase out of single-use plastic bags by 2018.

“We welcome the bipartisan support for this critical measure to cut the amount of plastic pollution ending up in our oceans.

“With this announcement, Queensland will join South Australia, ACT, Northern Territory and Tasmania which already have similar bans in place. We encourage all states to join together in cutting plastic pollution.” Mr Cordwell said.

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