According to ABC News, from July 1, Queensland and Western Australia will ban single use, lightweight plastic bags from major retailers, an initiative already in place in the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.
The ban on plastic bags only relates to single-use plastics thinner than 35 microns or 0.035 millimetres (human hair ranges from about 60 to 120 microns).
These are typically known as high-density polyethylene bags or HDPE bags.
Woolworth’s currently gives out more than 3.2 billion single-use HDPE plastic bags every year, and according to a 2009 study, about 1 per cent of those, or 30 to 40 million, find their way into the environment.
But thicker, more durable plastic bags will still be available to purchase in most supermarkets.
The public consultation on the ban received more than 26,000 submissions, with 96% of people supporting its implementation.
The Queensland government is working with other states to develop complementary voluntary action to reduce the use of department store-style plastic bags.
The benefits of the plastic bag ban include reduced litter and plastic pollution and reduced impact on wildlife.
Now that plastic bags will become obsolete, what are the other alternatives for you to use?
You can use your reusable bags when shopping, and to make it easier it’s best if you remember to keep a reusable shopping bag in your car so you’re always prepared.