WA Plastic bag ban

Ban on lightweight plastic bags in Western Australia.
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The supply of lightweight plastic bags was banned in Western Australia from 1 July 2018.

Every year billions of lightweight plastic shopping bags were supplied nationally, with many littered in WA.

While plastic shopping bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter, they do not break down and can have devastating impacts on marine wildlife and birds.

Since its announcement, WA's plastic bag ban has been widely supported by the community and industry, including major retailers—some of the biggest suppliers of lightweight plastic shopping bags.

The ban on lightweight plastic bags brought WA into line with other Australian states. The WA Government has also introduced further action on thick plastic bags.

Implementing a lightweight plastic bag ban in Western Australia

The discussion paper, focused on the Government’s preferred option to implement a statewide ban, and sought input on the impact of the preferred approach. The paper considered how retailers and consumers could prepare for the proposed changes.

The consultation summary report summarises information received from the survey and submissions. There was strong support for taking action on lightweight plastic bags. Almost 95 per cent of the more than 4,400 submissions were in favour of banning lightweight plastic bags. Copies of the submissions can be downloaded.

The decision regulatory impact statement assessed the information provided in the discussion paper and provides an analysis of the options considered by the Government. This includes the outcome of the consultation and an assessment of the costs and benefits of each option. The decision regulatory impact statement confirms the Government’s preferred option, which is to implement a statewide ban.