WA Opposition to make plastic bag ban push

Posted by Editorial on 5th January 2010

Western Australia could become the third Australian region to ban the plastic bag if the State Opposition has their way.

The WA Labor Party is set to introduce a Private Members Bill to Parliament next month that could see plastic bags banished from the state, following in the footsteps of South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Plastic Bag

“Western Australians use about 400 million plastic shopping bags each year,” Opposition Environment spokeswoman Sally Talbot said, according to AAP. “Only about three per cent are recycled. The rest end up either in our environment or in landfill.”

Recent meetings of federal and state environment ministers have failed to come to a conclusion over a national strategy, with a national ban or levy remaining on the agenda.

“Expectations were running very high that even if there was no national agreement WA would have the guts to impose a state ban like the governments of South Australia and Victoria*,” Dr Talbot added. “Several WA councils and communities including Albany and Fremantle have moved to eliminate plastic bag use and there is wide support for a ban from all round Western Australia.”

Exemptions for certain plastic bags would be included in the Opposition’s Bill to ensure the hygienic storing of food is not compromised.

* Victoria has not banned the plastic bag as of yet, but did trial a levy in 2008.