CCIQ concerns over potential plastic shopping bag ban
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says small business should not be forced to cop the brunt of a plastic shopping bag ban.
CCIQ is concerned that a potential ban by the State Government will mean more red tape for small business and penalise those in the supply chain.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens today urged the government to continue consulting with the Queensland business community.
“CCIQ wrote to Environment Minister Steven Miles on November 27 to provide constructive input into the government’s policy discussion on the reduction of litter and plastic pollution, specifically in relation to the management of plastic bags,” he said.
“The Queensland business community is strongly committed to balancing environmental sustainability with economic prosperity and recognise the vital role in minimising the impact on the environment.
“Despite a strong desire to do so, cost and expertise continue to represent the greatest barriers for participation in environmental management and sustainability programs. Complexity and lack of experience in waste management are also significant prohibiting factors for Queensland small businesses.”
Mr Behrens said CCIQ acknowledged the management of single-use plastic bags in Queensland was an important environmental issue.
“This is an issue that requires a collective response to achieve the policy objectives posed in the background paper prepared by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection last year.
“The paper provided three broad measures to restrict the number of plastic bags including, voluntary reduction measures; legislation banning the supply of single-use shopping bags; or a requirement of a charge on supply of single-use shopping bags.”
Mr Behrens said wider small business engagement was needed to determine the most appropriate approach.
“Education and awareness is most important in affecting change in consumer behaviour, rather than focus on penalising those in the supply chain.”
Mr Behrens said CCIQ would not support the implementation of policy that penalised or imposed significant operational restrictions for small businesses.
“The Minister wrote to CCIQ on January 27 and gave an undertaking that consultation would occur this year on options to restrict the use of plastic bags and a significant part of that consultation will be with retailers both small and large to ensure their views are heard.
“We had further confirmation from the Minister today that consultation will occur.”