Perth, Australia – Another Australian state, Western Australia (WA), has announced it will ban single-use high density polyethylene carry bags, starting in July.
WA is the sixth of Australia's eight states and territories to implement a ban. However, the two states that have not, New South Wales and Victoria, are the most populated states.
WA Environment Mnister Stephen Dawson said: “There's been an overwhelming response from people in the community who are really keen to see a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Studies have shown plastic pollution has a significant impact on our environment. Seabirds have been found with their digestive tracts packed with plastic fragments and turtles can confuse plastic bags with jellyfish.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the ban will bring WA into line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory, all of which already have bans in place. Queensland's ban also starts on July 1.
McGowan said plastic bags make up a relatively small portion of solid waste and litter but can significantly harm marine wildlife and birds.
WA will also introduce a container deposit scheme for beverage containers.
Victorian Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio has said Victoria may consider a ban on lightweight plastic bags, but NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has said no legislation is needed because supermarket chains are voluntarily phasing out the free plastic grocery bags.