- Plastic Free Riverpark program to aid transition to single use plastics ban
- $500,000 election commitment to reduce litter from Swan and Canning foreshores
- Part of the McGowan Government's nation-leading Plan for Plastics
- First stage of single-use plastic items will be phased out from January 1, 2022
As Western Australians prepare for a range of single use plastics to be phased out from next year, businesses along the foreshores of the Swan and Canning rivers are getting a helping hand to change their takeaway packaging.
The Plastic Free Riverpark program will help riverfront businesses reduce the impact of single-use plastics on waterways and wildlife as part of the McGowan Government's ban on a range of plastics.
Under the $500,000 election commitment, the State Government will support up to 100 cafes and other riverfront businesses along the Swan and Canning rivers to remove single-use plastic items from their venues and supply chain.
It follows the State Government's moves to fast-track the Plan for Plastics which will phase out a range of single-use plastics from next year - including bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, expanded polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases.
The decision saw WA named best in the nation on single-use plastic reform by WWF-Australia.
Stage two of the Plan for Plastics, which comes into effect at the end of 2022, includes plastic barrier bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads, oxo-degradable plastics and takeaway coffee cups and lids with single-use plastic materials.
A transition period will allow businesses to use their existing supplies and help them adapt to the changes during the first six months of each stage. Fact sheets and a hotline will be in place to support businesses.
Community education campaigns will also start later this month to support all Western Australians to find alternatives to single-use plastics.
People who require single use plastic straws to maintain their quality of life will be ensured a continued supply.
A recent State Government survey of 38 shoreline sites along the Swan and Canning rivers found plastics litter was widespread - with food wrappers, bottles, straws and straw wrappers among the rubbish identified.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Western Australia is only weeks away from phasing out the use of a range of single-use plastics under the first stage of our nation-leading Plan for Plastics.
"This will be followed by a second stage next year, which will see even more of these environmentally-damaging products removed from sale and use in Western Australia.
"We will support businesses with a transition period to help them adjust, along with a public information campaign to help the community make the change.
"The Plastic Free Riverpark program will provide support to a range of businesses along the Swan and Canning rivers to make the necessary changes to their operations - helping to protect these beautiful waterways.
"The Western Australian community has shown overwhelming support to reduce the damage single-use plastics cause to the environment with our Plan for Plastics, and we look forward to continuing this important work in coming years."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"We are one step closer to a future without single-use plastics and only weeks away from the phasing out of a range of single-use plastic items that clog our waterways and waste streams.
"Surveys by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have shed light on the amount of plastic that is accumulating in the Swan Canning Riverpark, making it clear our swift action to ban a range of single-use plastics is needed.
"Thank you to the riverfront businesses and customers that are embracing this positive change by using non-plastic and reusable takeaway packaging.
"The McGowan Government will support businesses and community groups in the transition to alternatives to single-use plastics through education programs and the Plastic Free Places program."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Environment Minister's office - 6552 5900