Holes in bag laws patched up

The City of Fremantle is hoping changes to its Plastic Bag Local Law will get it through parliament.
The City of Fremantle is hoping changes to its Plastic Bag Local Law will get it through parliament.

Clause 6 was the most contentious part of the previous law, stating retailers would need to charge for bags distributed through them, and eventually led to it being knocked back.

That mandatory 10c charge has been removed and the council last week approved the changed law for another go at getting it through parliament.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said their legal advice was there was now no legal basis on which the local law could be disallowed.

‘We hope that the State Government can see this as an opportunity to trial the single-use plastic bag ban in Fremantle and hopefully it can go state-wide in coming years,’ he said.

‘Most retailers are positive about the ban, as they see it being one more way in which Fremantle can show environmental leadership and many already don’t give out bags.’

The supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths will likely be hardest hit should the law come into effect, with plastic bags a significant part of their grocery packing process.

A Woolworths spokesperson said they would comply with the legislation should it come into effect.

‘Our view is that customers should be provided with choice in relation to the use of plastic bags and whilst supporting the ability of customers to make their own choice, Woolworths is committed to reducing the number of plastic bags that are used by customers,’ she said.

A Coles spokesperson said they would respect the City’s decision and work to ensure that customers are prepared for any changes, whilst continuing to provide reusable and recyclable options.