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Which bags will be banned? 

  • Single-use plastic bags
  • Degradable and biodegradable lightweight plastic shopping bags

Which bags will not be banned?

  • Garbage bags
  • Bin liners
  • Bags for food such as fruit and vegetables
  • Nappy bags
  • Dog poo bags 
  • Department store plastic bags 

What happens if I forget to bring my own bags?

You can purchase thicker plastic bags at the big supermarket chains, including Coles and Woolworths for 15 cents. 

Other foldable bags and freezer-type bags will also be available for purchase. 

But to avoid a fee, the best thing to do is keep your reusable bags in the car or in your hand bag. 

You can also bring your own plastic bags to all shops.

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What happens if someone breaks the rules?

Retailers found to be supplying the banned bags face a $6,300 fine. 

National Retailers Association chief executive officer Dominique Lamb said retailers had taken to the bag ban with "gusto".

"We're seeing new recyclable bags with new branding … we are seeing all different types of bags appearing in the market and so far we've had quite a positive response to the change."

She said some small businesses were concerned about the change but generally they were embracing it. 

"They're really keen to get this right and to make sure they don't find themselves captured in the sense of being fined," she said.

What should I do with my plastic bags at home? 

You can take the plastic bags you have stored in the cupboard or under the sink to the shops with you and use them to carry your groceries home.

Or you can recycle them at the bins situated in some stores. 

But if you use them for other things like bin liners, over time you will have to change that habit too. 

Not everyone is happy with the move to go plastic free.

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Logan resident Rodney Black said he was annoyed by the ban and was not convinced it would do much. 

He has been hoarding the bags in his shed to use as bin liners. 

"We use plastic bags well, we use them more than once usually," Mr Black said. 

"Eventually we'll be forced to buy plastic bags for certain kitchen rubbish bins."

Why is this happening? 

Because of the environment. Millions of plastic bags end up in the environment every year and are often ingested by turtles, sea birds and whales. 

Dr Kathy Townsend, a lecturer of animal ecology at the University of the Sunshine Coast, has been studying the impact of marine debris on turtles for the past decade. 

"Plastic bags have been shown to be one of those making the biggest impact as far as sea turtles are concerned," she said. 

She said about 30 per cent of the marine sea turtles she had surveyed died due to ingesting marine debris, with the majority of that waste being plastic bags. 

"That's one third of the animals dying in this area, because of this one thing — we can stop that and that's a big deal."

nd it is not just sea turtles that will benefit.

Dr Townsend said more than 200 species had been recorded eating marine debris. 

How long will it take to change our behaviour?

QUT Business School Associate Professor Gary Mortimer said it took between six to 12 weeks for consumers to break a habit. 

"There needs to be a motivation to break that habit, so you need to be passionate about it," Professor Mortimer said.

"If it's a habitual exercise like grocery shopping you're less inclined to change."

He said when plastic bags were banned in South Australia, only 30 per cent of people were using their reusable bags.

 

Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-20/qld-plastic-bag-ban-starts-today-heres-what-you-need-to-know/9886798

 

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Christina Scotson