WA fines for bags start

Retailers supplying banned plastic bags in Western Australia now face the prospect of a hefty $5,000 fine after the new rules came into effect at the start of the year.

Under the new laws, plastic bag suppliers and manufacturers who provide false and misleading information when selling bags can also be fined and prosecuted.

"From today, it will be illegal for a retailer to offer you a lightweight plastic bag,” Acting State Environment Minister Simone McGurk said.

"So be prepared - always have your reusable bags on hand and remember to take them everywhere you go - whether you're picking up milk from the deli, bread from the bakery or takeaway food from your favourite restaurant.

"Our ban on lightweight plastic bags is making a significant improvement to our environment.

"Since July 1, 2018, we have stopped around 225 million lightweight plastic bags ending up in landfill - or worse still - in our oceans."

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has engaged the National Retail Association as a point of contact for the public and to help educate retailers about their obligations.

Complaints can be lodged with the National Retail Association at http://bagbanwa.com.au. The department will take follow-up compliance and enforcement action.

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