WA Plastic Ban
Posted: 12 Jan 2022

 

 

Plastics have become part of our everyday life. They are inexpensive, convenient and used in many applications. However, the single-use nature of many of these plastics contributes to a wasteful, take-make-dispose economy.

Community concerns about plastic waste is at an all-time high. Internationally, across Australia and Western Australia, there is community pressure and an expectation that governments and companies must do more to address the issues and challenges associated with single-use plastic.

Key Dates

The Western Australian Government has formalised plans to ban selected single-use plastic products across July and October 2022. In response to consultation feedback the State Government has released Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics. The plan’s preferred approach is avoidance of single-use plastics to mitigate the known impacts of single-use plastics on the environment and waste streams.

The plan is consistent with the waste hierarchy by promoting actions that:

  • prioritise avoiding single-use plastics
  • replace single-use items with reusable alternatives wherever possible
  • if it is not possible to use reusable items, choose non-plastic single-use alternatives that can be recovered, recycled or composted
  • minimise litter or contamination of waste treatment facilities by not using single-use plastics

The Plan for Plastics will be delivered over the short (end of 2021) and medium-term (by the end of 2022) and will be complemented by voluntary approaches.

From July 1, 2022

It will be an offence to sell or supply several disposable plastic items, including plastic items containing compostable plastics (unless specified)

Single-use plastic or disposable items to be banned from July 1, 2022 include the following items:

  • Plates: plastic plates made wholly, partly, or lined with plastic, designed for consuming food.
  • Bowls without lids: plastic bowls, without a lid, made wholly, partly, or lined with plastic, including clear PLA, designed for consuming food.
  • Plastic cutlery.
  • Plastic straws & stirrers.
  • Plastic bags (including heavyweight plastic bags) : Plastic bags with handles designed to carry goods purchased from a retailer, including all soft plastic shopping bags with handles, paper/cardboard bags with a polymer laminate and non-woven polypropylene bags with a minimum weight of 90gsm and stitched seems.
  • Expanded polystyrene takeaway food containers: All polystyrene takeaway food containers including trays, bowls and clam shell food containers.

From October 1, 2022

It will be an offence to sell or supply disposable plastic cold cups, including PET and clear PLA cups. Paperboard cups that are certified compostable to the Australian standard will be acceptable. Cold cup lids are not included in stage one bans.

  • Cups for cold beverages: Plastic cups. Includes all cold cups made wholly or in part of plastic, including clear PLA, designed to serve cold beverages, unless certified compostable to the AS standard.

Compliant Ranges

Exemptions 

Exemptions apply to the following paper lined products that are certified to the Australian compostability standards AS4736 or AS5810:

  • Lined paperboard bowls that are certified to AS4736-2006 or AS5810-2010.
  • Lined paperboard cups where the product is certified to AS4736-2006 or AS5810-2010.

Find out more here.

Additionally, these regulations will have exemptions for straws:

  • The Government recognize the need for some individuals to use single-use plastic items to maintain their quality of life and that alternatives are not appropriate. A Plastics Straws Working Group has been established to work with disability, health and aged-care sectors, to develop regulatory exemptions that enable ongoing access to straws for individuals who require them.

    * These specifications apply to W.A and do not apply in all states.

    Enforcement & Penalties

    Under the new regulations, it is proposed that it will be an offence to:
    • Sell or supply a banned plastic item
    • Provide false or misleading information about a banned plastic item
    • Release any number of helium-filled balloons into the outdoor environment
    • Arranging or permitting the release (by any number of people) of any
    number of helium-filled balloons into the outdoor environment
    • A non-prescribed business selling or supplying individual or packs of
    plastic straws
    • A wholesaler or supplier selling or supplying plastic straws to a business
    that is not a prescribed business

    Find out more here.

    What You Can Do Now

    Businesses are encouraged to identify whether banned items still need to be provided to customers, and if so, what they can be replaced with alternative products made from a non-plastic material or are reusable.

    To prepare for the proposed bans it is important to consider:

    • Current stock levels of these items and to run down stocks of these items.
    • Decide whether your business or organisation will sell or supply alternatives items or move to reusable items (e.g. reusable party kits with plates, cutlery, cups, etc.)
    • Discuss alternative items with suppliers
    • Displaying signage regarding the ban at your premises

    We have a wide range of waste regulation compliant products for you to choose from. If you need assistance trying to navigate these changes and determine what you need, contact our team on (07) 3853 5800 or email enquiries@mpmmarketing.com.au.

    Your Compliant Options