Growers want plastics ban to boost local manufacturing

Growers want plastics ban to boost local manufacturing
September 1 2021

Queensland’s sugarcane growers have welcome today’s start of a ban on some single-use plastic items in the state.

Representing the majority of the state’s growers, CANEGROWERS believes the ban will help build the business case for local products that are biodegradable, compostable and based on a renewable resource, such as sugarcane.

“This ban is a very positive move,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said. “As well as taking some plastic out of the environment and waste stream, the ban should stimulate demand for Australian-made bioplastics and biodegradable fibre products.

“The manufacturing technology exists and we have the renewable feedstock growing in our cane fields in abundance.

“What we need are companies with a conviction to invest in processing and manufacturing in regional Australia to replace the many imported products which are taking the place of the now outlawed plastic straws, cutlery and containers and gaining popularity with consumers.”

Queensland’s sugarcane growers will harvest around 28 million tonnes of cane this season. Both the sugar juice and the fibrous material in the stalks could be used to make everything from food wrap, to bags, straws and tableware.

“While we expect sugar crystals for food will always be main product made from Queensland sugarcane, growers are keen for new, diversified sources of income and to be part of the plastic waste solution,” Mr Galligan said.