Only 12 days after its initial refusal to implement a serious ban, Brisbane City Council announced that it is committed to banning plastic straws, bottles, and helium balloons after all. Earlier this month, the council’s field services chairman Peter Matic claimed that there were no plans to phase out single-use plastic straws and bottles at council-operated venues, in spite of pressure from the opposition after other Queensland councils had enforced a ban. Now, however, the council backtracked on the decision and will move forward with their efforts to reduce plastic waste!

In a recent agenda meeting, the council’s environment, parks, and sustainability Chairman Councilor, David McLachlan, stated that the council had already implemented several sustainable initiatives but would now end the use of plastic water bottles, non-recyclable coffee cups, plastic bags, straws, and balloons.

After some changes in the original text, the motion was passed. ”It’s a win for Brisbane, it’s a good outcome and we’re pleased to have been able to lead the debate on that,” said opposition councilor Jared Cassidy.

“[C]ouncil will now demonstrate leadership to improve and protect the health of our waterways and Moreton Bay by acting to ban the use of single plastic drinking straws, and phase out helium balloons and single-use plastic bottles, in all council operations and encourage council sponsored events to do the same,” the final motion reads. A date for the ban to go into effect has not yet been set.

Disposable plastic straws, bottles, and balloons are all among the most prominent types of non-biodegradable waste that pollute our planet. Every day, we produce some 500 million plastic straws, Americans alone are drinking 10 billion gallons of bottled water a year, and 70 percent of all released balloons eventually end up in the ocean where they become deadly once they are ingested by marine wildlife. By moving forward with the ban, Brisbane is going to spare the environment a significant amount of plastic pollution, and, in this case, every amount matters.

To find out how you can help the planet by buying, using, and throwing away as little disposable plastics as possible, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

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