In September 2017, the McGowan Government announced that lightweight plastic bags would be banned across Western Australia. The ban came into effect on 1 July 2018.
Previously, up to five billion single-use plastic shopping bags were supplied across the country each year – 80% of those by supermarkets and other retailers.
While these bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste, they are not biodegradable and, as a frequent cause of litter, have devastating impacts on marine wildlife and birds.
The ban applies to restaurants selling takeaway food, chemists/pharmacies, newsagents, market vendors, second hand stores, butchers, bakeries and even online shopping.
Customers must now use alternatives to lightweight plastic bags – reusable fabric bags, cardboard boxes, trolleys or, if you are just buying a few things, use your hands.
Tips on remembering your reusable bags
- Have plenty of reusable bags on hand
- Keep your reusable bags somewhere convenient and easy to spot – like near the door
- Start your shopping list with ‘bags’ so you remember to bring them with you when you shop
- Remember to return them to the car (if that's where you keep them) after you unpack your shopping. Invest in a couple of small folding bags to keep in your pocket, bag or glovebox too