Queensland has become the second Australian state to pass laws banning single-use plastics including straws and cutlery that are blighting the state’s waterways and beaches and endangering wildlife. Environmental groups congratulated the Queensland government after it passed legislation on Wednesday night that will ban single-use plastic items, including polystyrene food containers and cups, from 1 September. The state’s environment minister, Meaghan Scanlon, said the state had seen benefits from its 2018 ban on single-use plastic bags, which had dropped 70% in litter surveys. The state’s container deposit scheme that gives a 10c return on most plastic and glass bottles, also introduced in 2018, was now approaching 3bn returned items. “Plastic pollution is spoiling our streets and parks, escaping into our ocean and waterways and killing our iconic wildlife,” Scanlon said. “Half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away and that litter is destroying our environment.” South Australia was the first state to introduce a ban on single-use plastics , in September, with a similar list of items banned. Last week the federal government launched a national plastics plan that includes a phase-out by 2022 of expanded polystyrene packaging and food containers. […]

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