Information for shoppers

Single-use plastics ban Western Australia

Community feedback from 2019 showed more than 98 per cent of Western Australians were concerned about the environmental issues associated with plastic waste (i.e. the impacts on oceans, litter, wildlife, recycling and landfill) and supported action to reduce these items. 

Stage 1 of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics has started.

From 1 January 2022 regulations to ban the sale, supply and distribution of specific single-use plastics in Western Australia (WA) came into effect. The Stage 1 bans apply to plates, bowls, cutlery, drink stirrers, drinking straws (with exceptions), cups, thick plastic bags and expanded polystyrene (EPS) food containers. The regulations also ban the release of balloons inflated with a gas that causes the balloons to rise in the air.

The wholesale supply of these materials to retailers is strictly prohibited in WA after  30 June 2022.

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.

Enforcement of the Stage 1 regulations started on 1 July 2022 for all items except cups, with enforcement on cups delayed until 1 October 2022 to provide time for stakeholders to adapt. 

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) will take an education-first approach as part of the introduction of these changes.

Exemptions from the bans can be sought through an online process provided by DWER. Find more information about exemptions and the exemption considerations

Find a list of exemptions granted.

Some exceptions apply to the single-use plastic bans, such as for plastic straws.

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 some exemptions for plastic drinking straws. See more information on permitted supplies for plastic straws in the Facstsheet 'Stage 1 ban – Plastic drinking straws'.

Consumers are encouraged to avoid single-use plastics by opting for a plastic-free alternative, choosing food without plastic packaging, taking a reusable bag when shopping and using a reusable cup instead of a plastic one. Instead of balloons, opt for cost-effective and reusable party and event decorations.

More information is provided below, including additional details on the ban for each item. 

Information relating to Stage 2 regulations will be provided in late 2022. 

Factsheets and FAQ

Stage 1 ban – Expanded polystyrene (EPS) food container
Page reviewed 21 September 2022