The ban on the first items under Stage 2 of Western Australia's nation-leading Plan for Plastics comes into force today. The now banned items include microbeads, expanded polystyrene cups, cotton buds with plastic stems, degradable plastics designed to break up into fragments, and loose-fill expanded polystyrene packaging. A six-month transition period began in February 2023, to allow businesses to use up supplies, and source alternative products before the bans were enforced.
WA's Plan for Plastics has phased out a range of items, saving 1.1 million single-use plastics from landfill or litter across the State each year. Other items targeted in Stage 2 include non-compostable plastic takeaway coffee cups, plastic produce bags for fruit and vegetables, molded expanded polystyrene packaging, unlidded trays as well as lids for takeaway bowls, plates, cups, trays, and containers - excluding pre-packaged food such as sandwiches and sushi.
The state government will continue to use a common-sense, education-first approach to enforcing the bans. Retailers and suppliers not making any plans or effort to transition, and deliberately continuing to supply banned items, could face fines up to $5,000 for an individual, or up to $25,000 for a body corporate.