Brisbane City Council says no to plastic straw ban
Brisbane City Council has no plan to ban plastic straws at council-operated venues, despite pressure from the opposition after other Queensland councils enforced the ban.
Moreton Bay and Cairns Regional councils pledged to phase out single-use plastic straws at council-operated venues and events in April.
Brisbane City Council Labor opposition called on the council to follow suit and encouraged wider debate on items such as helium balloons and bottled water.
“Brisbane residents will go through plastic drinking straws by the millions this year with many ending up in Moreton Bay,” said Steve Griffiths, the opposition's environment spokesman.
“We must do everything in our power to keep rubbish out of the bay and out of the stomachs of marine life.
“Plastic accounts for about three-quarters of the marine debris which is collected along Queensland’s coastline.”
Council field services chairman Peter Matic said there were no plans to phase out plastic straws, nor bottled water.
“For a measure of this nature to be effective, it would need to be implemented on a statewide basis,” Cr Matic said.
“Any regulation on helium balloons would be a matter for the state government.”
Cr Matic said the council recycled 4900 tonnes of plastics such as drink bottles and straws in 2017.
Cr Griffiths said other options included steel or bamboo straws that could be washed and reused, or biodegradable paper straws.
“The world is becoming more aware of the incredible damage wreaked by single-use plastics and I believe we need to have a robust conversation about all items such as helium balloons and water bottles,” he said.
In 2017, when the state government introduced a bill to ban plastic shopping bags and start a container recycling scheme, environmental groups called for straws, coffee cups, bait bags and helium balloons to also be banned.