Prepare for plastic bag ban

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Environment Minister Stephen Dawson says workshops will help Western Australians find alternatives to lightweight single-use plastic bags.

WITH WA’s ban on lightweight single-use plastic bags just five months away retailers and consumers are being encouraged to attend workshops to help change the way they shop and do business.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson is urging the community to take advantage of the workshops run by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, which are being held in the metropolitan area and regional WA.

From July 1, retailers can no longer supply lightweight single-use plastic bags to their customers.

In the lead-up to the ban, retailers are being encouraged to stop ordering plastic bags which will be part of the ban, think about alternatives to plastic bags and prepare staff to help customers who are unware of or do not support the ban.

Consumers are encouraged to consider carrying reusable shopping bags, look at alternatives for the single-use plastic bags used around their homes and support retailers and staff upholding the law by not supplying single-use bags.

In the metropolitan area workshops will be held in Perth, Connolly, Stirling, Armadale, Fremantle, Midland and Mandurah.

A discussion paper, Implementing a lightweight single-use plastic bag ban in Western Australia, is open for public comment until March 9.

Mr Dawson said banning lightweight single-use plastic bags was a significant win for the environment.

He said a survey in November last year found that 84 per cent of respondents supported a ban on lightweight, single-use plastic bags.

“It is estimated that Western Australians used about 360 million single-use plastic bags in 2017,’’ he said.

“These bags have an average useful life of 12 minutes and in Western Australia about five million are littered annually, which leads to a devastating impact on marine wildlife and birds.’

For more information and to contribute to the discussion paper visit http://www.dwer.wa.gov.au/plastic_bag_ban