WA Plan for Plastics – Stage 1 update

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Here is an update received from DWER on 17.12.2021. Please note you can now find some very useful resources on their website. (See links below in RESOURCE section.)

“We are pleased to announce that today the Western Australian Environmental Protection Regulations Amendment (Prohibited Plastics and Balloons) Regulations 2021 were published in the Western Australian Government gazette.  The regulations set a schedule of amendments to the Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 and the Environmental Protection Regulations 1987.

The introduction of these Stage 1 Plan for Plastics regulations follows from previous initiatives including introduction of a lightweight plastic bag ban in 2018, commencement of a container deposit scheme (Containers for Change) in 2020, and feedback from the community indicating high support (98 per cent) for action on plastic.”

Items and timeline of phase out

“The Stage 1 regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2022. To allow businesses to adapt to the changes and deplete existing stocks of banned materials, offence provisions are phased in on the following dates for the items listed below:

  • 1 July 2022 – single-use plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery, plates, bowls, expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers, plastic bags with handles and helium balloon releases.
  • 1 October 2022 – plastic cups.

It will be an offence to provide false or misleading information about a banned plastic item from 1 January 2022. 

It is important to acknowledge that some people in the community require certain single-use plastic items to meet their life needs. The department has consulted with the disability, health and aged-care sectors through a Single-Use Plastic Working Group to better understand these needs and to provide exemptions for plastic drinking straws to reduce supply and maintain suitable ongoing access.”

Single-use plastic ban resources

“DWER is developing education resources and has published an updated website, factsheets and frequently asked questions relating to the Stage 1 bans at wa.gov.au/planforplastics

For businesses, DWER have contracted the National Retail Association to provide education and support. For more information please visit plasticsbanwa.com.au or call the tollfree hotline on 1800 817 723.”

Stage 2

“In 2022, attention will turn to Stage 2 items including barrier/produce bags, microbeads, polystyrene packaging, polystyrene cups, coffee cups and lids, bowl and cup lids, and oxo-degradable plastics. Stage 2 legislation is proposed to be introduced by 1 January 2023, and opportunities to provide input will be advertised in 2022.”

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