In the past few months, the National Retail team have delivered a dedicated website, a suite of resources, online information sessions, engaged with suppliers, contacted peak industry bodies, and answered hundreds of business calls on the Stage 2 Plastic bans.

Our team has hit the streets visiting thousands of retailers in key shopping centres and retail precincts across Western Australia. We are pleased to see so many WA businesses proactively transitioning to more sustainable products and packaging.

From Friday, 1 March 2024, the following items are banned in Western Australia:

• disposable plastic cups for hot drinks
• disposable plastic cup lids and seals (for hot or cold drinks)
• disposable plastic unlidded trays for takeaway or eat-in food.

Disposable plastic cups for cold drinks are already banned, as of October 2022.

The next stage of the ban (impacting produce bags and takeaway food containers) comes into effect 1 September 2024.

Tips for businesses to consider:

• Plastic free? Remember, most ‘paper’ cups have a plastic lining to make them waterproof.

• Alternatives? Consider introducing reusable options, such as washable crockery or encouraging customer to BYO cups. If you need a disposable alternative, cups and trays can have plastic linings or coatings if they are primarily made from fibre/paper and the item has achieved Australian composting certification. However, cup lids must be uncoated and plastic-free. More detail on banned items

• False or misleading information: Since March 2023 it is an offence to provide false or misleading information about banned plastic items. We encourage suppliers to ensure their clients are aware of the ban when ordering stock.

• Excess stock? As with every plastic ban, please remember that non-compliant stock cannot be supplied after the ban date (even if you purchased it beforehand). Tips for excess stock

• Enforcement: The WA Government will pursue an education-first approach to enforcement however fines can apply. You can report suspected non-compliance here. Businesses may apply for exemptions, but please note these are limited to specific reasons and evidence criteria. Details here

Need help? Visit the official website for businesses, download factsheets, attend free information sessions, or contact the NRA team for advice.

To find out more on the upcoming bans in South Australia and Western Australia (from September 1, 2024) and to learn more about the QLD 2023 ban and ACT Stage 3 ban, please access the summary here.

The National Retail Association team actively work across a wide range of sustainability topics impacting retailers and their supply chains across Australia and New Zealand.