Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics Stage 2

Information regarding Stage 2 regulations
Plan for Plastics Stage 2 banner

Western Australia's Plan for Plastics was designed to be implemented in a staged approach. 

The Stage 1 regulations came into effect on 1 January 2022, phasing out disposable unlidded bowls and takeaway food containers, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, expanded polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases. Stage 1 was fully implemented on 1 October 2022. All Stage 1 items are now banned, including the release of helium balloons.

Stage 2 of the WA Plan for Plastics comes into effect on 27 February 2023. Stage 2 includes a second set of single-use or disposable plastic items and materials that will be phased-out between 1 September 2023 and 1 July 2025. The Stage 2 regulations will ban:

  • loose and moulded expanded polystyrene packaging
  • degradable plastics (plastics designed to break up more rapidly into fragments under certain conditions).
  • produce bags
  • expanded polystyrene cups and food trays for raw meat and seafood
  • coffee cups and lids
  • lids for cups, bowls, trays, plates and takeaway food containers
  • trays for takeaway food not covered in the Stage 1 ban
  • cotton buds with plastic stems
  • microbeads.

Consultation

We consulted with key stakeholders and the community on Stage 2 of the Plan for Plastics between 23 September 2022 to 18 November 2022.We received consultation feedback via written submissions, online surveys and from attendees at information workshops. Consultation findings and a Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (DRIS) will be published once Stage 2 legislation is gazetted. 

Next steps

Transition periods for the phase-out of Stage 2 items will allow businesses to run down supplies and make plans for alternative processes and packaging. The transition period for each item is outlined below:

Stage 2 Item Ban in effect date
Expanded polystyrene packaging (loose) 1 September 2023
Expanded polystyrene packaging (moulded) 1 July 2025
Expanded polystyrene cups and trays for raw meat and seafood 1 September 2023
Degradable plastics 1 September 2023
Produce bags 1 March 2024
Coffee cups and all disposable plastic cup lids  1 March 2024
Lids for bowls, trays, plates and takeaway food containers 1 September 2024
Trays for takeaway food not covered in the Stage 1 ban 1 March 2024
Cotton buds with plastic stems 1 September 2023
Microbeads 1 September 2023

Support programs – Stage 2 

Development of Stage 2 regulations was informed by the Single-Use Plastic Working Group.

Stage 2 will be supported through a Plastic Free Places program delivered by the Boomerang Alliance, a comprehensive supplier and retailer education and engagement program, and community education programs. More information for these programs will be provided in due course. 

Compliance and enforcement – Stage 2

Enforcement of Stage 2 regulations will start from 1 September 2023 for select items and materials. We will take an education-first approach as part of the introduction of these changes. 

If you suspect a banned plastic item is being used, email a compliance inquiry to complianceforplastics@dwer.wa.gov.au or you can call 6364 6651.
 

Exemptions – Stage 1

Please visit this web page to lodge an application for an exemption from the ban or for further information.

Email plastic-action@dwer.wa.gov.au for exemption inquiries, or you can call 6364 7000.

The Stage 2 single-use plastic bans refer to Australian Standard AS 4736-2006 Biodegradable plastics – Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment and AS 5810-2010 Biodegradable plastics – Biodegradable plastics suitable for home composting.  

Copies of AS 4736-2006 and AS 5810-2010 are available for viewing free of charge at our office at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Prime House, 8 Davidson Terrace, Joondalup, between 8.30am and 5.00pm on weekdays.
 

More information on Stage 2

Please click on the cards below for more information.

Page reviewed 3 February 2023