WA and Queensland plastic bag bans come into force
Regulations to ban lightweight plastic bag came into force in Western Australia and Queensland on July 1, bringing these two states into line with South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory which already have similar bans in place.
Victoria has announced its intention to ban lightweight plastic bags from the end of 2019.
The ban applies to all retailers currently supplying lightweight plastic bags with handles - 35 microns thick or less. It includes degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags because these also breakdown in the environment and pose a threat to wildlife.
In Queensland, a retailer who is found to be supplying the banned bags after 1 July 2018 may be fined up to $6,300 per offence. In WA, retailers will have until December 31, 2018 to phase out their existing stocks of banned bags.
The Queensland Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the Palaszczuk Government was also working towards another initiative to reduce plastic pollution - the Container Refund Scheme - which will come into effect in November.
“We are also currently working with government, environmental groups, industry and the research community to develop a long-term plan to reduce the amount of plastic entering and in the environment.