The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) and the Plastic Free WA alliance have welcomed the confirmation by the McGowan Government that a statewide ban on single use plastic shopping bags will be in place by July 1 2018. This is earlier that previously announced.
The Plastic Free WA alliance, including CCWA, Sea Shepherd Australia’s Marine Debris Campaign, and Plastic Free July has been calling for a ban on single use plastic bags, as well as a recycling refund scheme for drink containers and action to tackle microplastic pollution.
CCWA Director Piers Verstegen welcomed the news that the State Government would bring forward the plastic bag ban.
“This shows that there is growing momentum and support across the community and industry to take action to address plastic pollution.
“WA is one of the last states where single use plastic bags have not yet been banned, and our environment and marine life is suffering as a result.
“Millions of plastic bags find their way into creeks, rivers, wetlands, and the ocean every year in WA, and this pollution has a huge impact on marine life and aquatic ecosystems.
“Where plastic bags have been banned in other states, consumers and the community and responsible businesses have supported the move.
“Plastic pollution is a worldwide problem because plastics remain in the environment, breaking into smaller and smaller pieces which contaminate soil and water, and affect the health of wildlife.
“The solution is to prevent plastic pollution in the first place, by changing our laws and our habits here in WA.
“This is why the McGowan Government’s ban on single use plastic bags is a strong step in the right direction.”