Retail giants ban plastic shopping bags

The state government says people understand the need to stop hundreds of millions of plastic bags becoming waste every year.

RETAILERS Woolworths and Coles say they will ban single-use plastic shopping bags.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the ban on single-use, lightweight plastic bags would extend across both groups’ Australian networks, with Woolworths set to fully implement the initiative within 12 months.

Mr Dawson said the initiative would play a major role in reducing plastic bag usage in favour of reusable, environmentally friendly options, and showed a commitment to environmental and community responsibility.

He said the national litter index showed in the past two years, the number of plastic bags in the Western Australian litter stream increased by 8.2 per cent – with highways being the most littered areas for plastic bags.

Mr Dawson said he met with Coles and Woolworths last week to indicate the McGowan Labor Government was working on implementing a state-wide ban of single-use plastic bags so he was pleased the companies were now acting.

“As a government we are concerned about the impacts of waste – including plastic – on the environment and will continue to work to reduce those impacts, including by introducing a container deposit scheme in WA.”