Western Australia fast-tracks its plan to ban single-use plastics by four years

Image credit: www.wa.gov.au

The Western Australian Government has fast-tracked its Plan for Plastics by four years with single-use plastic bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases to be phased out by the end of 2022.

Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics provides a roadmap towards a more sustainable, plastic-free WA by implementing regulations to ban items in a two-stage approach.

Stage One – to be completed by December 31, 2021 – includes plastic plates, bowls, cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws, thick plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, and helium balloon releases.

Stage Two – to be completed by the end of 2022 – includes plastic barrier/produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics.

Takeaway coffee cups and lids with single-use plastic materials have also been added to the Plan for Plastics and will be phased out in stage two.

Consumers and businesses will be able to use alternative environmentally friendly takeaway cups and lids, with people that require single-use plastic items to maintain their quality of life, such as those in the disability, aged care and health sectors, to be ensured a continued supply.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the Government’s Plan for Plastics would position the State as a plastic-free leader in Australia.

“Single-use plastics have a terrible impact on our environment, wildlife, public health and recycling efforts, and the vast majority of Western Australians have told us that they want this to stop,” the Premier said.

“By bringing the timeframes forward for single-use plastic bags we can harness the community’s enthusiasm and our collective desire for change to make important improvements quickly and effectively.

Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the new timeframe will see WA’s Plan for Plastics fully implemented by the end of 2022, four years earlier than originally planned.

“The new timeline for the WA Plan for Plastics demonstrates the State Government’s strong commitment to reducing the impact of plastic use and plastic litter on our environment,” MS Sanderson continued.

“The plastic bag ban has been embraced by retailers and the community; this is the next step of the journey to reduce landfill and ensure a healthy environment.”

Image credit: www.wa.gov.au