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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.