We're so excited to share that Western Australia's Plan for Plastics has been fast-tracked by four years with the enforcement of a ban on some of the most problematic single use plastics starting on 1 July 2022.
The extent of plastic pollution occurring in terrestrial and marine environments has become a serious problem recognised at an international level. There is now a substantial body of evidence about the impact that plastic is having on the environment.
This ban cannot come soon enough - five years ago the information gathered by Clean Up Australia through its annual clean up days, showed that Western Australia had one of the highest levels of plastic pollution in the country, particularly along the Perth coast.
WA Single Use Plastic Ban
The WA Government has legislated that all these single-use plastic items must be phased out:
- Plastic bowls
- Plastic cups
- Plastic plates
- Plastic cutlery
- Plastic stirrers
- Plastic straws
- Polystyrene food containers
- Thick plastic shopping bags (the 15c ones)
- Helium balloon releases
Helium balloon releases are included in the new WA single use plastic ban
Single-use plastic coffee cups and lids are also included in the plan and will be banned by the end of 2022. Stage two - now to be completed by the end of 2022 - also includes plastic barrier/produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics.
Plastic cotton buds will be phased out at the end of 2022
The new timeframe will see Western Australia's Plan for Plastics fully implemented by the end of 2022, four years earlier than originally planned.Last year, WA was rated as the leading state in Australia for action on single-use plastics by WWF Australia, and these new rulings will mean that WA remains a leader in this space. Western Australians showed strong support for the Plan for Plastics, with more than 98 per cent of those surveyed saying they supported further action on single-use plastics.
As each phase is rolled out, the initial focus will be on education and support for businesses for the first six months after each stage, rather than compliance. The Plastic Free Places Program will help community organisations and businesses to adapt to becoming more sustainable.
Local Support for Plastic Free Places in Town of Victoria Park
The Town of Victoria Park successfully trialled a Plastic Free Places program in 2020
We know that this move will be well supported in our local council area of Town of Victoria Park. In 2017, a survey was conducted in the town to establish a position on the possibility of a ban on all plastic bags. 170 people responded to the survey. Amongst respondents there was support for the plastic bag ban, with 158 voting "Yes", 14 voting "No".
The WA single-use plastic bans will build on the lightweight plastic bag ban implemented in 2018, and the Containers for Change container deposit scheme, which has seen 358 million beverage containers recycled and more than $1.46 million donated to charities and community groups since October 2020.
Under the National Plastics Plan,the Commonwealth Government has also committed to phase out loose fill and moulded polystyrene packaging by July 2022, as well as expanded polystyrene foodware, oxo-degradable plastics, and PVC packaging labels by December 2022.