Another Important Step Forward for the Environment
This week our community took an important step forward for the environment with the launch of the Container for Change Program. More than three billion containers are used in Queensland each year.
This program means that these containers won’t end up in our environment or landfill. It also means that local community groups like Victor Scouts and St James P&F will be able to use these containers to raise funds.
In the 55th Parliament in 2017, I was the Chair of the Agriculture and Environment Committee that worked on the legislation that has enabled the introduction of the Containers for Change Program. When I tabled the report for the parliament, I made a few observations.
While plastic was a product developed in the late 1800s, it was not until the 1940s that it moved to being a widespread part of our daily life. People eat off it and with it, people wear it, people drive in vehicles full of it, people communicate with devices full of it, people live in dwellings full of it and it is essential in our schools and hospitals. Few of us now could navigate our daily activities without plastic.
The properties that make plastic useful, its strength, its longevity and its adaptability; also make it a major environmental problem. There is a growing awareness that people need to re-think their relationship with plastic and the way we use it.
During the public hearings there was universal support for the measures in this legislation. The legislation lead to the banning of single use plastic bags and the establishment of a container refund scheme. These changes will require significant changes in our current practices but the community have overwhelmingly indicated that they are ready to make the change.
No doubt there will be more changes we need to make as a society as we move forward and we will need to carefully evaluate how and when we use plastic.
This is truly an exciting week for Queensland and a big step forward for our environment.