Western Australia’s Plastic Bag Ban

image001It’s the end of our Financial Year and the start of a shiny, bright new one tomorrow. It happens the same time every year. Yawn.

However tomorrow, being the 1st of July 2018 is the start of a new step towards a better future for us. Tomorrow, Western Australia bans the supply of light-weight plastic bags.

The ban will apply to retailers throughout Western Australia that currently supply lightweight plastic shopping bags to their customers and they will have until 31 December 2018 to phase out their existing stocks of banned bags. Retailers may face fines if they supply banned bags after this date.

Legally, retailers are not required to provide customers with a bag, so the bag ban presents an opportunity to assess whether retailers actually need to offer bags at all,  or whether to charge a small fee for alternatives.

The new laws will apply State-wide to all retailers regardless of size or type – from supermarkets to fashion boutiques, from fast food outlets to service stations.

Over the last few months, retailers have been urged to consider a range of alternatives and ensure their bags are compliant before January 2019 which is when the transition period ends and substantial fines will come into play.

I can only hope that this is the start of a further move to reform the way that plastics are used in our society. This is a great first step. It is often stated in the media that this move was consumer driven, so it makes sense that the total removal should ensure that we all find alternatives and are prepared to use them.

It will be a gradual change over the next 6 months I am sure, but what a welcome one.

bag bans

Further Reading:

Information on The Ban

The Regulations

The UK’s Big Fat Bags site

Images: from Dept. of Water & Environmental Regulation website

8 thoughts on “Western Australia’s Plastic Bag Ban

  1. Our ban started about 2012, two years before it was enforced. Some people were quite pleased about it, and most of us who were not so pleased about it did not mind. It seems silly to me that people could not simply be more careful with their bags, but it is like smoking. We want to think that people will be responsible with their actions, but we all know that is being too optimistic. Anyway, the problem now that the lightweight bags are illegal, we are using heavier duty plastic bags, and probably using more plastic than before. the only advantage is that they are not blowing about into the environment. I get rather grossed out by some of the filthy reusable bags that some people set on the counter to fill with groceries. ICK! Hang on; let me find something.

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      1. That’s a worthy suggestion. People might be more inclined to give their re-usable shopping bag a name and remember to take it with them. Something like, “It’s time to go shopping. Here Fluffy, come on, shopping time my dear little furry, recycled friend.”

        I like your Halston post. Our equivalent is probably Akubra hats. https://akubra.com.au/pages/hats

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      2. Oh my, no. Halston was a very accomplished fashion designer who made the mink pill box caps that Mrs. Kennedy wore in the 1960s. They were very elegant, although quickly going out of style by the time I came along. I can remember my mother wearing one when I was young, but fur was very unpopular only a few years later.

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