Single-Use Plastic Waste
Let’s talk plastics. Not just waste, but unnecessary single use plastic waste. Recently Misty Lane & Co were at a north Brisbane agricultural show as a trader, getting our Beeswax Wraps out there. The best thing about events like this, is the people, who wander past and engage with us and getting to talk to like-minded people who want to make changes to the way they can reduce their single-use plastics consumption. So many people have heard of beeswax wraps or know of someone in their lives who uses them. Whether, it be a relative or a friend who uses them all the time or a “flat mate who had them and then they moved out and took them, and I miss using them, so I better get some for the house” or “a work college uses them and raves about these” or “ …..I have seen these on social media and have been wanting to start using them, so today might be the day I just purchase them”. So many positive remarks from people. This is so awesome and so encouraging to get out there and spread the word ‘Bee the change’.
On that note – at the agriculture show we were in a hall with local politicians handing out goody bags and items with their marketing logos sprayed on everything. What was very disturbing was the amount of single-use marketing items they handed out to kids. (now, kids have no idea about politics and are not the direct target demographic to increase votes at the next election). But the volume of single-use waste items handed out, like balloons on plastic sticks that were circulating with the crowds, was mind-blowing over the 3 days. Each political group had fabulous volunteers, handing out this rubbish to the kids. There was one group that stood out to me, who were giving out useful items like pens, magnets and writing pads. I approached them and thanked them as a tax-paying citizen for their innovative forward thinking and for not follow the stupid. The next day they returned with a colouring-in sheet hand-out for the kids from the QLD government web page (see below) representing what balloons are to the environment. – WELL DONE, I say.
Now these politicians are all supposed to know and understand the different legislation and Acts – well you would assume they would. According to the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011 releasing balloons holds an individual and corporate penalty...
Releasing balloons is littering
In Queensland, the release of balloons into the environment is considered littering under the Waste Reduction and Recycling Act 2011—whether released deliberately or by accident.
While a person may have the permission of the occupier of a place to release a balloon, once the balloon leaves that place it becomes litter.
The law does not differentiate between different types of littered material and whether the waste is biodegradable or not. The release of single or multiple balloons can constitute either littering or an illegal dumping depending on the volume of material released.