PREMIER Mark McGowan has announced WA will ban single-use plastic bags from July 1 2018.
The Premier made the announcement on ABC radio on Tuesday morning, ahead of a media event at Kewdale Primary School.
South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT have already moved to ban plastic bags – and now WA will follow suit.
“We’re going to ban plastic bags from July 1st 2018,” Mr McGowan said.
“Most people accept that there are alternatives these days.
“Other states have all done it, WA will do the same because it’s good for our environment.
“We’ll have a process.
“The plan is they’ll be gone by 1 July next year.
“There’s actually billions of them used each year.
“You go to Bunnings, there’s boxes you use, there’s paper bags, there’s all sorts of alternatives.
“We want to make sure marine life, our wildlife, our very special environment is protected.”
Environment minister Stephen Dawson said the process would be rolled out over the next nine months.
“We’ll talk to industry over the next few months about our scheme in Western Australia,” he said.
“The details of the program will be worked out over the next few months.”
The Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) welcomed the decision.
“Where plastic bags have been banned in other states, consumers and the community and responsible businesses have supported the move,” CCWA Director Piers Verstegen said.
“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.”