From 1 January 2022 regulations to ban the sale, supply and distribution of specific single-use plastics and the release of balloons inflated with a gas that causes it to rise in the air are in effect. The ban applies to all businesses, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and distributors in Western Australia.
Penalties will apply to any person who supplies or manufactures and knowingly provides false or misleading information about single-use items that are banned under the regulations.
From 1 July 2022 penalties apply for the sale, supply or distribution of the following single-use plastic items that are banned under the Environmental Protection (Prohibited Plastics and Balloons) Regulations 2018:
- drink stirrers
- drinking straws
- thick plastic bags
- expanded polystyrene (EPS) food containers.
From 1 July 2022 penalties under the Environmental Protection (Prohibited Plastics and Balloons) Regulations 2018 will also apply to individuals for the release of a balloon inflated with gas that causes it to rise in the air.
From 1 October 2022 penalties will apply for the sale, supply or distribution of single-use plastic cups.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will take an education first approach as part of the introduction of these changes.
Exemptions from the bans will be able to be sought through an online process from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The wholesale supply of these materials to retailers is strictly prohibited in WA past 30 June.
The supply of plastic drinking straws is permitted in specific circumstances. Some exemptions apply to the single-use plastic bans, with further information available in the factsheets.
The regulations also allow any person, company/business, and local or State authority to apply for an exemption for a specific item(s). Read more information about making an exemption application.
The WA State Government has engaged the National Retail Association (NRA) to help support businesses to comply with the ban and identify suitable alternatives. A dedicated website is available at plasticsbanwa.com.au and includes information about the ban and key steps to adapt and prepare. The website includes a schedule of retailer workshops and information sessions and resources including staff training kits and signage. The NRA also has a toll-free phone line (1800 817 723) to respond to questions from businesses.
General fact sheet information about the Stage 1 bans, and frequently asked questions are provided below. For further information please contact the NRA or the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.