From 1 July 2018, the supply of lightweight plastic bags will be banned in Western Australia.
The ban will apply to all lightweight, plastic bags with handles – less than 36 microns, including degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.
Every year billions of lightweight plastic shopping bags are supplied nationally, with around seven million littered in WA alone. A survey of WA households in November 2017 found that most people (more than 90%) are concerned about the impacts of plastic on our environment and support a state-wide ban on plastic bags (84%).
The ban will come into effect on 1 July 2018 however retailers have until 1 January 2019 to phase-out banned bags. Suppliers must not mislead retailers about banned bags from 1 July or they could face substantial fines. The NRA recommends that retailers cease ordering banned bags by 1 July 2018 and phase these out completely by Christmas.
The National Retail Association has recently partnered with the WA government to assist retailers with the transition away from banned bags.
WA retailers can contact the NRA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the WA Hotline on 1800 817 723 for advice.
A comprehensive website (www.bagbanwa.com.au) and a suite of resources are under development and due to be launched by 14 June. Workshops will also be held across the state from early June.