From 1 July 2018, the supply of lightweight plastic bags will be banned in Western Australia.
Every year billions of lightweight plastic shopping bags are supplied nationally, with around seven million littered in WA alone.
While plastic shopping bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter, they do not break down and can have devastating impacts on marine wildlife and birds.
The ban on lightweight plastic bags will bring WA into line with other Australian states — South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory already have similar bans in place. Queensland will introduce its ban on 1 July and Victoria has announced its intention to introduce a ban.
Which bags will be banned?
The plastic bag ban includes all lightweight plastic bags with handles, 35 microns thick, or less (including degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags).
Who does the ban apply to?
ALL retailers in Western Australia including food retailers, market stall holders and organisations that supply lightweight plastic shopping bags.
Does the ban apply to online sales?
Yes. The ban applies to plastic bags supplied with online purchases sourced in Western Australia.
What retailers can do
Check with your plastic bag supplier if you are unsure if the bags you have purchased are over 35 microns in thickness. If asked, the supplier should provide you with written proof of the minimum thickness of your bags in microns
Provide consumers with alternatives such as reusable "green" bags, reusable "hesian" bags, reusable freezer or "cold" bags, or heavy duty plastic bags designed for reuse or multiple uses
Put posters up in your store to let customers know of the plastic bag ban and alternatives. Download yours here.
What shoppers can do
Take reusable bags to the shops - for example hessian bags, green (non-woven polypropylene) bags, insulated cooler bags. Use a cardboard box, a paper bag, load up your pram or bike basket or put the contents of your shopping trolley straight into the car
Keep a reusable shopping bag in your car, bag or by your front door so you are always prepared