WA passes more plastic bans

On Friday 24 February, the WA Government passed regulations to phase-out more single-use plastic items, including coffee cups and containers, over the next 3 years.

The National Retail Association delivered a comprehensive engagement program in WA in 2022 to assist with the Stage 1 ban, visiting over 4300 retailers, providing 23 information sessions and manning a tollfree hotline daily.

The NRA also provided comprehensive feedback from industry to the WA Government in 2022 during the Stage 1 ban, through formal submissions in October, and through our role as an active WA Plastic Working Group member.

We are pleased to report that the final regulations have been refined from what was proposed and show evidence of some industry feedback being taken into account.

However, the next round of WA bans include many items which have never been banned in the world.

This will create significant challenges for businesses and the NRA looks forward to further consultation with the WA Government to understand the regulations and therefore provide accurate advice to businesses.

Summary of the next bans

Phase 2a – Supply banned by 1 September 2023

  • Degradable plastic (incl. oxo-degradable and landfill degradable)
  • Cotton buds with plastic shafts
  • Microbeads
  • EPS cups and EPS in food and beverage packaging (including meat trays)
  • Loose fill EPS packaging (including other expanded plastic equivalents eg. EPE, EPP and foamed bioplastic)

Phase 2b – Supply banned by 1 March 2024

  • Takeaway coffee cups (excl. AU certified lined paper cups)
  • Cup Lids and seals – hot & cold drinks (including plastic lined lids)
  • Plastic trays for takeaway food not covered in the Stage 1 ban
  • Fruit and vegetable produce bags

Phase 2c – Supply banned by 1 September 2024

  • Lids and seals for takeaway food containers and bowls (excl. AU certified lined paper lids)
  • Lidded food containers and bowls for takeaway and eat-in (restaurant) applications. There is a limited exclusion that allows plastic lids for takeaway food that is placed on display for sale.

Phase 2d – Supply banned by 1 July 2025

  • Moulded EPS packaging (incl. other expanded plastic equivalents including EPE, EPP and bioplastic EPS)

More information:

Information-gathering session

The National Retail Association is running an online session on Thursday 2 March to gather industry questions and examples. Please submit or bring your questions, examples of items (pictures welcome) or examples of uses.

We will then relay these to the WA Government and work with them to clarify answers and interpretations of the regulations so we can provide accurate advice to industry.

Please note that, as the final regulations have just been released, we are not yet able to answer specific queries with certainty. This session will help us understand industry queries and then work with government to provide answers in future sessions.

Register for the session here

Need help on single-use plastic bans?

The NRA Policy team are leading experts on plastics bans, and can answer your curly questions on current and proposed bans across Australian jurisdictions and New Zealand.

Every day, our team are visiting hundreds of retailers in their stores, as well as providing materials, websites, online sessions, hotline and email contact channels.

We understand that while retailers are highly supportive of phasing out single-use plastics, businesses face significant challenges understanding different rules in each jurisdiction, as well as experiencing ongoing supply chain and economic pressures.

Attend one of our free information sessions, register for our sustainability updates, or contact us at sustainability@nra.net.au for more information.