WA retailers prepare for plastic bag ban

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Western Australia is joining Queensland retailers in ‘banning the bag’ on July 1, bringing the states in line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT, which already have plastic-bag bans in place.

WA Environment Minister Stephen Dawson says 84 per cent of Western Australians support a ban on lightweight, single-use plastic bags, and major retailers have also shown their support.

“Major supermarkets – Coles, Woolworths and IGA – intend to ban lightweight, single-use plastic bags, while some retailers – including Bunnings and ALDI – already support the ban by not offering these bags to customers,” Mr Dawson said.

Public submissions have opened on the plastic-bags ban and can be made via an online survey or by written submission. A discussion paper, ‘Implementing a lightweight single-use plastic-bag ban in Western Australia’, is also open for public comment until March 9.

“The discussion paper gives the community an opportunity to be part of efforts to reduce the impact of plastic bags on our environment,” Mr Dawson said.

“This government is committed to reducing the amount of waste generated, increasing the amount of material recovered and reducing the disposal of waste to landfill, as well as decreasing littering. This initiative will help us achieve these goals.”

It is estimated that Western Australians used about 360 million single-use plastic bags in 2017.

These bags have an average useful life of 12 minutes and in WA, about five million are littered every year, which leads to a devastating impact on marine wildlife and birds.

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