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.

WA's plastic bag ban is now in place, not only in supermarkets across (including Coles, Woolworths and IGA) but all Western Australian retailers.

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