It’s a historic day in Western Australia with bans on nine single-use plastic items coming into effect.
The items include plates, bowls, cutlery, drink stirrers, drinking straws, thick plastic bags, expanded polystyrene (EPS) food containers, helium balloon releases and unlidded containers.
Disposable plastic cups for cold drinks will be banned from October 2022, providing more time for retailers to adapt.
Western Australia is the first Australian jurisdiction to ban thick plastics bags, unlidded containers and disposable cups for cold drinks.
The bans, the first stage of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics, were introduced on January 1, 2022 but a six-month transition period has allowed businesses to access support to help them transition to single-use plastic alternatives.
Although hefty fines apply, the State Government will use a common-sense, education-first approach with retailers.
“Western Australians overwhelmingly support action on single-use plastic and today the ban on the supply of many single-use plastics commences. We can be proud that our State continues to lead the way in reducing its harmful effects on the environment," Environment Minister Reece Whitby said.
“An extensive engagement program over the past six months has assisted more than 10,000 businesses to adjust to the new requirements, with a significant number already doing the right thing.
"I encourage shoppers to do their part by using their own sustainable products instead of disposable items from a retailer, and show their understanding that, when buying groceries or takeaway food, some items will no longer be available.”
Business requiring support to make the transition to plastic-free alternatives can visit www.plasticsbanwa.com.au, call the tollfree WA hotline 1800 817 723, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.