On 17 December 2021, the WA Environmental Protection Regulations Amendment (Prohibited Plastics and Balloons) Regulations 2021 were published in the Western Australian Government gazette. This is an amendment to the previous regulations and the new regulations incorporating these changes will be available soon.

 

Help for retailers

The NRA has been officially engaged by the WA Government to develop educational materials to support retailers and suppliers adapt to the bans. The NRA will also provide additional support through direct engagement, a dedicated website and phone hotline.

We are working with DWER to develop educational resources which will provide information on single-use and reusable alternatives, exemption processes and how the regulations apply to businesses. We will also relay feedback and queries to government regarding regulatory information, if required.

 

NRA resources and assistance:

WA ban hotline: 1800 817 723

This is now live, and our specialists are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm WA time.

WA website: plasticsbanwa.com.au

This is being developed by NRA in collaboration with Government and we expect to launch this by 31 January. A holding page is available now and we encourage you to Register for Updates via the form on the page.

WA resources: posters, factsheets, POS, etc.

The Government has published factsheets for the general community (see here). The NRA is developing specific resources for business and these will be available by 14 February.

WA engagement: store visits, online sessions, etc.

We plan to commence our visits of 200 retail precincts from 14 February 2022 and to commence a series of online sessions for businesses, starting on 15 February 2022.

 

WA Plastics Ban – brief summary

  • The ban includes individual items sold or given away, as well as packets of items (eg. packets of forks).
  • The ban does not include items pre-packaged before arrival at a store (eg. A straw attached to a juice box).

From 1 January 2022:

It will be an offence to provide false or misleading information about banned items.

From 1 July 2022:

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

  • Straws – some exemptions will apply.
  • Cutlery
  • Stirrers
  • Plates
    • Including paper plates coated with plastic
  • Bowls without lids
    • Including paper bowls lined with plastic unless this is AU certified compostable
    • Bowls defined as round rim, tapered to flat base, designed to contain food.
  • Food containers without lids
    • Including unlidded food containers lined with plastic unless this is AU certified compostable.
    • Food containers: designed to contain food.
  • Expanded polystyrene foodservice items (containers, lids and trays).
    • Includes fruit/vege trays, but not those used for raw meat/seafood. Excludes cups.
  • Plastic bag with handles designed to convey goods purchased from a retailer.
    • Includes all soft plastic shopping bags with handles, including use for home and online delivery.
    • Includes paper/cardboard bags with polymer laminate.
    • Plastic fabric bags allowed: woven polypropylene, nylon, recycled PET fabric.
    • Non-woven polypropylene bags: minimum weight of 90 gsm and stitched seams

From 1 October 2022:

It will be an offence to sell or supply disposable plastic cups.

  • Not defined in regulations but DWER has confirmed to NRA that a cup is designed to serve beverages, not food.
  • This will exclude lined paper cups which have achieved Australian Standards composting certification.
  • Excludes cups made from EPS.
  • Excludes cup lids.
  • Excludes cups used for drinks served above the ambient temperature (eg. coffee).

 

Urgent queries / concerns

DWER has acknowledged that businesses require time to adapt to the regulations. The NRA will prepare resources to assist businesses and will host the first of several online Q&A sessions in early February.

We encourage you to Register for Updates via the web form and call our dedicated WA tollfree hotline 1800 817 723 should you have any urgent queries.

The NRA Policy team are engaged across all current and upcoming plastic bans across Australia. Businesses seeking advice on other state bans can contact our Sustainability Hotline on 1800 844 946 or sustainability@nra.net.au.