Lightweight plastic bag ban to be enforced from January 1

  • Retailers warned fines for supplying banned plastic bags are on the way
  • Consumers reminded to take reusable bags

Offences for Western Australia’s plastic bag ban come into effect on New Year’s Day.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today warned that retailers who supplied banned lightweight plastic bags would face potential prosecution from January 1, 2019 – risking fines of up to $5,000.

Plastic bag suppliers and manufacturers who provide misleading information when selling bags to retailers also risk being prosecuted and fined.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has engaged the National Retail Association to be a point of contact for the public, educate retailers about their obligations and refer complaints to the department for investigation.

Complaints can be lodged with the National Retail Association at https://www.bagbanwa.com.au

The State-wide plastic bag ban applies to all retailers – not just supermarkets.

It includes lightweight bags made of plastic – including bags that are biodegradable, degradable or compostable – with handles and a thickness of 35 microns or less.

As noted by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:

“Western Australia’s plastic bag ban has been well supported by the community and I commend those who have backed the Government’s initiative and got on board – using alternatives to plastic bags.

“From January 1, 2019 it will be an offence for retailers to supply lightweight plastic bags – this includes small retail shops, takeaway food outlets and markets.

“Consumers can help by remembering to take their own reusable bags when they go shopping.

“Taking lightweight plastic bags out of the litter stream is a significant step towards protecting our environment.”

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