Applications for a single-use plastic exemption

How to apply for an exemption for a prescribed plastic item or prescribed plastic drinking straw

The Environmental Protection (Prohibited Plastics and Balloons) Regulations 2018 prohibit the sale and supply of prescribed plastic items, prescribed drinking straws and the release of helium balloons.

Under the regulations, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) can provide an exemption to a person or class of persons for a prescribed plastic item or prescribed drinking straw, for a specified kind or in specified circumstances, or both, where the CEO considers that it is reasonably necessary to do so. Exemptions must be granted for a specified period and can be subject to conditions. Where significant numbers of applications are received of a similar type, the CEO may elect to provide an exemption to a class of persons rather than to individual people.

To meet the goals of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics (June 2021) the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (the department) will use the Single-use plastics exemption application considerations to guide decisions on exemption applications.

Who can apply for an exemption?

Any person, company/business, local or state authority can submit an application for exemption under the regulations for a prescribed plastic item or prescribed plastic drinking straw.

When can I apply?

The Regulations are being amended so that applications for exemptions can be made before 1 July 2022. The department will advise subscribers to the plastic-action email account when the regulations have been gazetted and applications can be made.

While the department cannot receive or determine applications for exemption before that time, the department will accept draft applications. This is to facilitate the exchange of information between applicants and the department without prejudice, to ensure that applications will contain all necessary information when formally submitted and to provide applicants with the department’s preliminary views on their application.

How do I apply for an exemption?

Applications for exemption can be made by completing and submitting the Application form: Single-use plastics exemption.

For more information about how to apply and what information is required see our Procedure: Applying for a single-use plastic exemption.

How will my application be assessed?

The department assessment will be guided by the exemption application considerations. External advice may also be sought where expertise is required in a relevant field (for example, health advice).

How will I be notified on the decision?

Once an application is determined the decision is communicated to the applicant(s) by email or letter. The decision will also be published on the department’s website.

Need help?

If you need help to complete your application or have any questions relating to the assessment process, please contact the Single-Use Plastics Team via email at plastic-action@dwer.wa.gov.au or phone us on 6364 7000 and ask for the Single-Use Plastics Team.

Page reviewed 2 May 2022