WA Government to ban single-use coffee cups by end of 2022

Plan for Plastics

Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics has been fast-tracked by four years and will see single-use plastics, which now include coffee cups and lids, to be banned by the end of 2022.

WA’s Plan for Plastics serves as a roadmap for WA as it moves towards a sustainable, plastic-free state.

The plan will be implemented in two stages with stage one seeing banning of all single use plastic bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags, and helium balloons by 31 December 2021.

Coffee cups and lids will be banned in the second stage of WA’s Plan for Plastics, alongside plastic barrier and produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads, and oxo-degradable plastics, which will be banned by the end of 2022.

Consumers and businesses, however, will still be able to use environmentally friendly takeaway cups and lids.

“By bringing the timeframes forward for single-use plastic bags we can harness the community’s enthusiasm and our collective desire for change to make important improvements quickly and effectively,” says Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia.

“The new timeframe still gives businesses time to adapt to these changes, with many businesses already switching to environmentally friendly alternatives at the request of customers.”

This new move builds off WA’s banning of lightweight plastic bags in 2018 and Containers for Change container deposit scheme started in October 2020 with WA being rated as the leading state in Australia against single-use plastics in 2021 by the international environment organisation WWF.

WWF-Australia has also shown support for WA’s move to ban single use plastics.

“Australians discard about [one] billion coffee cups every year. This is a massive mountain of waste that most governments aren’t acting on, so it’s great to see WA leading the way,” says Kate Noble, WWF-Australia’s No Plastics in Nature Policy Manager.

“We’re seeing huge momentum across the country on tackling plastic pollution, with today’s announcements from WA and New South Wales just the latest in a race to the top.”

The NSW Government has also announced a $356 million investment to support the phasing out of single-use plastics and reducing food waste across the state.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) supports this move, with Paul Zahra, ARA CEO stating that the announcement is leading towards national harmonisation and phasing out of single-use plastics across the country.

“And whilst we recognise the significant environmental impact caused by single-use plastics, we need to ensure that these important changes are implemented in a way that minimises operational impacts for our members, with cost-effective sustainable packaging alternatives available to support the phase-out,” says Paul.

For more information on WA’s Plan for Plastics, please click here.

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