- All lightweight, single-use plastic bags to be banned
- Ban to start on July 1, 2018
Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags will be banned in Western Australia from July 1 next year.
The State-wide ban will bring Western Australia into line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory which already have plastic bag bans in place. Queensland has also vowed to ban the bag from July 1, 2018.
Plastic bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter but can significantly harm marine wildlife and birds which can inadvertently eat or become entangled in plastic bag waste.
WA's plastic bag ban has garnered widespread support across the local government sector in recent months and among major retailers which are some of the biggest suppliers of plastic shopping bags.
Major supermarkets Coles, Woolworths and IGA have indicated their intention to ban single-use plastic bags while some WA retailers - including Aldi and Bunnings - already support the ban by not offering single-use plastic bags to their customers.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This is a positive step to address plastic pollution across the State.
"This includes a ban on single-use plastic bags and the introduction of a container deposit scheme for Western Australia which will limit the amount of plastic beverage containers that end up in the waste stream.
"The community and the retail industry have already been working to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic bags for more than a decade.
"The number of plastic bags used every year continues to grow and therefore it's time for the State Government to act, in the absence of a national approach.
"There are alternatives to single-use plastics and we need to move beyond single-use items and promote sustainable futures for our children."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"There's been an overwhelming response from people in the community who are really keen to see a State-wide ban on single-use plastic bags. I especially want to thank each and every school student across Western Australia who wrote to me about their desire to see the McGowan Government take action.
"My job, as the Minister for Environment, is to protect the State's unique environment for future generations and today's announcement is the next step in reducing the impacts of plastic bags on our environment.
"Studies have shown plastic pollution has a significant impact on our environment - seabirds have been found with their digestive tracts packed with plastic fragments and turtles can confuse plastic bags with jellyfish.
"We will continue our efforts to reduce the amount of waste generated, prevent littering, increase material recovered from the waste stream, and reduce waste destined for landfill."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800