Western Australia

No more lightweight plastic bags in WA

Western Australia’s lightweight plastic bag ban regulations commence from July 1 2018.

Announcing the ban at The Market Place Ballajura IGA, WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said taking lightweight plastic bags out of circulation had strong community support and was a significant win for the environment.

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 similar bans in place. Queensland’s ban also starts on July 1 2018 and Victoria has announced its intention to ban lightweight plastic bags from the end of 2019.

The ban applies to all retailers currently supplying lightweight plastic bags with handles – 35 microns thick or less. These bags are commonly provided by supermarkets, restaurants and other retail stores.

It includes degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags because these also breakdown in the environment and pose a threat to wildlife.

Plastic bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter in WA but can have significant impacts on marine wildlife and birds, which may eat them or become entangled in plastic bag waste.

WA’s plastic bag ban has widespread support across the community, local governments and major retailers which are big users of plastic shopping bags.

The major supermarkets have all indicated their intention to stop supplying lightweight plastic bags from July 1 2018.

Source: WA Government