The sale or supply of single-use plastic cold beverage cups has been banned from today (1 October).
The move completes the first stage of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics, with the State leading the nation.
The bans will save 430 million single-use plastics from landfill or litter in WA each year, with cold cups accounting for more than 40 per cent.
Nine items have been phased out as part of WA’s Plan for Plastics first stage since July, including plates, cutlery, drink stirrers, drinking straws, thick plastic bags, expanded polystyrene food containers, helium balloon releases and unlidded containers.
The Stage 1 bans are estimated to eliminate large amounts of single-use plastics every year, including 300 million plastic straws, 50 million pieces of plastic cutlery and more than 110 million thick plastic shopping bags.
The extended transition period to 1 October for cold cups was to allow retailers and suppliers to access support to help them transition to single-use plastic alternatives.
Western Australia continues to lead the way and the State-wide ban coincides with McDonald’s replacing approximately 17.5 million plastic cold beverage cups and lids in its McCafés across the State, in an Australian first. This means that around 140 tonnes of plastic will be removed from annual circulation.
The State Government is urging businesses to make the switch, and will continue to use a common-sense, education-first approach to enforcing the ban. Businesses or community groups needing support can visit https://www.plasticsbanwa.com.au
People that require single-use plastic items to maintain their quality of life, such as those in the disability, aged care and health sectors, will be ensured a continued supply.
Single-use plastic takeaway coffee cups among other plastic products will be targeted in the next stage, which will be introduced from February 2023. Disposable options will also still exist, with certified compostable cups and lids excluded from the ban and already widely used by businesses.
Transition timeframes for Stage 2 banned products, including single-use plastic coffee cups, will be determined through consultation. To have your say, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/planforplastics by 18 November 2022.
As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
“It’s great to see Western Australians embrace the first stage of our Plan for Plastics, and many businesses have already completed the transition.
“This is another positive step in reducing our impact on the environment, which has the public’s overwhelming support.
“We can be proud that our State continues to lead the way in tackling single-use plastics.”