SCEC have been working with the Boomerang Alliance, Surfrider Foundation and Noosa Community Biosphere to bring about improved policy surrounding plastic waste in Queensland.

SCEC along with many others were thrilled when campaign efforts were rewarded with the unanimous passage of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill through the Queensland Parliament. The bill confirms a Plastic Bag Ban and Container Refund Scheme (CRS) will be introduced into Queensland in July 2018.

These new policies represent the most significant litter and plastic pollution measures introduced into Queensland in generations. It's a great leap forward for litter reduction, recycling and collection (and the creation of jobs that go with this) and for community organisations who can make money from collecting bottles and cans.

The DEHP has released factsheets about the CRS and bag ban which outlines how they will operate and what they cover. You can click below to download a copy.



For more resources on plastic pollution, head on over to the Boomerang Alliance website here.

Container Deposit Scheme

A Container Refund Scheme involves the payment of a refund (10 cents) for the return of every eligible beverage container to a recognised redemption point. In other words, people get cash for recycling their containers. There are over 40 such systems around the world including in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

South Australia has had a container refund scheme since 1975. According to the CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014, the amount of beverage container litter in South Australia is less than the amount of container litter in Queensland 'by a factor of three.’ In Queensland most beverage containers, despite kerbside collections, are wasted in landfill. In SA, container recycling rates are above 80%. In more modern schemes, such as Germany, container collection rates are close to 100%.

The primary objectives of a Container Refund Scheme should be to 1. Significantly reduce litter from beverage containers, 2. Increase recycling of containers, and 3. Grow community benefits by providing income to charities, encouraging social enterprises, and creating new jobs and regional business opportunities.

Plastic Bag Ban

It is estimated that some 180 million bags enter the Australian environment every year. That's 5.8 bags a second.

Studies have shown that plastic bags pose one of the greatest impacts to ocean wildlife. There is increasing evidence to show that even though only a small percentage of bags are littered, they break up into smaller and smaller pieces – having devastating impacts on the environment. This includes so-called ‘biodegradable’ bags, which are just as dangerous in the marine environment.

Plastic pollution is a major threat to wildlife. Globally it is estimated that 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 mammals die every year as a result of plastic ingestion or entanglement. Of great concern are the secondary micro-plastics derived from broken up plastic bags and bottles.

The CSIRO Marine Debris Report 2014 estimated there are over 124 billion individual pieces of visible plastic littering the Australian coastline, as well as a large legacy of plastic from previous years which has broken down to micro-plastic particles. It is evident that urgent action needs to be taken on multiple fronts.


How has SCEC been involved?

SCEC has been working with a number of organisations to raise awareness among the community about single-use plastic use and the impact it has on the marine environment. Below are some of the initiatives SCEC have been involved in: 

  • Working with the Boomerang Alliance since 2015 to raise awareness in the community about the benefits of a Container Deposit Scheme and total plastic bag ban through a media stunt at Noosa Main Beach in January 2016.
  • Ensuring World Environment Day (WED) Festival is a single-use-plastic free event! Something we're very proud of!
  • Incorporating plastic into displays, craft workshops and art installations at WED Festival as an informative tool for education. 
  • Incorporating the Unity Water hydration station and reusable drinking canisters for guests at WED Festival.
  • Attending the launch of the Boomerang Alliance Threat Abatement Plan on Marine Plastic. 
  • Speaking on the panel at the Sunshine Coast Council screening of 'A Plastic Ocean.'
  • Writing a submission on the discussion paper on the Waste Reduction and Recycling Amendment Bill 2017.
  • Working with the Plastic Free Noosa campaign team to bring about powerful local change in the community. 

Plastic Free Noosa

Plastic Free Noosa was officially launched on Monday 2nd October 2017 at the Noosa Biosphere Day. Plastic Free Noosa's aim is to reduce the Noosa community's use of disposable, single-use-plastic items such as coffee cups and lids, straws, takeaway containers, food ware and plastic water bottles. 

The initiative will engage with the retail and hospitality sector, as well as market, festival and event organisers. Plastic Free Noosa aims to encourage the take-up of reusable containers and packaging. Where this is impractical, a switch to commercially compostable alternatives may be possible. If you would like to get involved or read more about the campaign, please visit 

What you can do to reduce plastic

  • Join the Plastic Free Noosa Alliance by becoming a Plastic Free Champion. Plastic Free Champions consist of individuals, businesses, and organisations who agree to avoid the identified plastic items and initiate a switch to listed preferred alternatives.
  • Use a reusable coffee cup 
  • Use a reusable drink bottle.
  • Say no to straws and soy sauce fish.