IN THE BAG: Carmen McEneaney and her band of Boomerang Bag volunteers are already struggling to keep up with demand.
IN THE BAG: Carmen McEneaney and her band of Boomerang Bag volunteers are already struggling to keep up with demand. Craig Warhurst

Plastic bag ban 'fantastic news for region'

BUNDABERG shoppers will no longer get plastic shopping bags at their local supermarket but will be able to participate in a new cash-for-can scheme after new laws passed parliament.

The ban on single-use plastic bags will come into effect on July 1, next year.

The laws passed unanimously in State Parliament on Tuesday night with bipartisan support.

The ban was coupled with a container refund scheme similar to one that has operated in South Australia and the Northern Territory for many years.

"These initiatives will stop the scourge of plastic shopping bags, and put a price on beverage containers so they get recycled,” Environment Minister Steven Miles said.

"By passing this bill we say to our young people that we value our wildlife, especially our marine creatures like turtles, sea birds and dugongs.”

The container refund scheme will see most drink containers between 150ml and 3 litres eligible for a 10-cent refund.

Boomerang Bags

PAM Twyford sewed her 1000th Boomerang Bag recently and the new ban means she'll need to keep her fingers nimble.

Boomerang Bags Bundaberg co-ordinator Carmen McEneany says the plastic bag ban is fantastic news for our region.

"It's really important we start teaching our kids now,” she said.

"We are such a throwaway society.”

Ms McEneany said she was on the lookout for more volunteers to sew bags as she expected demand to grow.

"We're struggling to keep up with demand now and we only give to local shops,” she said.

Politicians

"QUEENSLAND has been the most littered state in Australia for many years and I think it's high time we clean up our act,” says Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson.

Both the LNP and Labor voted in favour of the bill meaning it was one of the rare occasions Ms Donaldson and Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett were on the same side.

"It was great to see both sides of the House agree to make this happen,” she said.

Ms Donaldson said only one in a thousand turtle hatchlings made it to adulthood and plastic bag contamination was a significant factor.

"This fact alone shows how important this ban is to our environment and our economy in Bundaberg and the Burnett,” Ms Donaldson said.

Mr Bennett said plastic rubbish on our beaches was a daily reminder of how prevalent plastic pollution had become.

"The need to reduce this pollution is vital, and the introduction of a single-use plastic bag ban is an important step towards achieving this,” he said.

"We all want to see a cleaner, greener environment, and I'm pleased that we have led the way to deliver a scheme to end single-use plastic bags in Queensland.”

Bin liners

WITH 90% of households using bin liners or plastic bags to line their bins what will you use when the plastic bag ban comes into effect?

In 2012, a review of South Australia's bag ban found just 15% of consumers purchased bin liners before the ban, compared with 80% after.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the supermarket handed out more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year



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