Working with the community to create a plastic bag free WA
Countdown to the plastic bag ban
On 12 September 2017, the state government announced its intention to implement a lightweight plastic bag ban.
The government took this action in response to growing national and international evidence of the negative environmental impacts of lightweight plastic bags. A ban was considered the most effective option to reduce the number of plastic bags entering our environment.
Community support for the ban has been very strong. A community survey, commissioned by the department in November 2017, found that 95 per cent of respondents were concerned about the impacts of plastics on our waterways, oceans, wildlife and landfill sites, and 84 per cent supported a ban on lightweight plastic bags.
The department, in partnership with the Boomerang Alliance, engaged the community and key stakeholders in discussions about how to reduce the use of lightweight plastic bags and their impacts on the environment from November 2017 to March 2018.
A total of 4441 responses were received during the comment period, with more than 94 per cent support for a ban on lightweight plastic bags.
Feedback from the consultation process resulted in the gazettal of the Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 on 12 June 2018.
The consultation and work of the Boomerang Alliance also guided the ‘What’s your bag plan?’ community education campaign, which was launched in June 2018 and was run in the lead-up to the ban. This was supported by the <www.whatsyourbagplan.wa.gov.au> website, with resources for the community and retailers.
The department partnered with the National Retail Association (NRA) to help retailers understand and comply with the ban and find alternatives for their customers. The NRA’s retailer-focused education campaign includes retail precinct tours and a dedicated website, <www.bagbanwa.com.au>.
Download Annual report 2017-18 (PDF 4.34 MB)