- Community supports ban on lightweight plastic bags
- Government recognises the need for a transition period for retailers
Western Australians have come out in support of the State's plastic bag ban which will start on July 1, 2018.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has reported that at the close of consultation, more than 4,400 people had contributed comments with almost 95 per cent in favour of banning lightweight plastic bags.
In addition, more than 90 per cent were in favour of banning biodegradable, degradable and compostable bags which persist in the environment and form microplastics.
The ban, starting on July 1, affects lightweight bags made of plastic - whether or not the plastic is biodegradable, degradable or compostable - with handles and a thickness of 35 microns or less. These bags are commonly provided by supermarkets, restaurants and other retail stores.
Consultation also identified the need for a transition period for retailers to prepare their customers to use alternatives to plastic bags.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will work with retailers throughout this year to help them support their customers.
A State-wide education campaign will ensure consumers are aware of the ban and encourage them to bring their own reusable bags when shopping.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"Banning plastic bags is just one of a number of strategic waste reform initiatives demonstrating this Government's commitment to reducing waste. We have also committed to introducing a container deposit scheme.
"We want to work with the community to make the transition towards a plastic bag-free WA as easy as possible.
"These initiatives reflect the community's desire to work together to reduce the significant impact of plastic bags, and other waste and litter on our environment."
Minister's office - 6552 5800