BANNED - from July 1st single use thin plastic carry bags to be banned in WA

Last year in September the West Australian Government made an announcement they intended to ban single use light-weight plastic carry bags in the retail sector. The reason behind this ban is to reduce litter and the many other negative issues like:
  • They are still single use.
  • They persist in the marine and bush environment.
  • They are a contaminant in plastic recycling processes.

There have been surveys that show an overwhelming support for such a ban by West Australians, with 54% of households already using alternatives.
The ban will come in on July 1st 2018 and the questions up for comment are how wide will the ban be and what bags will be included?
This ban as currently proposed will not include thicker department store bags, produce bags, doggy poo or nappy bags.
A big question is should the ban include the different types of these single use plastic bags? Apart from the ‘normal’ type plastic bags that don’t readily breakdown other types of these bags can be:
  • bio-degradable (broken down by specific microbes in controlled conditions),
  • degradable (can break into small particles- breaking up not breaking down) or
  • compostable (breaks down easily in commercial composters but a longer time in domestic composts and landfills).
Then there is the frightening (for many) consequence of no lightweight bags being available. What will we do for bin liners, carry bags for wet bathers, spot supermarket purchases etc.? These and the many other things we use these ‘shopping bags’ for.
There will still be bin liners on sale, but it may be an opportunity to give away all plastic wrapping for your rubbish. Try wrapping food scraps in the local paper or other random paper that come into the house. You could even learn the origami of making a paper bin liner. Or, forget the bin altogether deal with your food scraps at home by composting or worm farming options.
The spot supermarket purchase, when we get caught out with no reusable bags, will need a bit more planning. Will we will start to change our forgetful habits and take a small fold up bag or will we doggedly keep buying the thicker reusable bags with every purchase? Maybe we will find we don’t need a bag at all.
The plastic bag ban will change the way we shop. So while we are planning for alternative carry bags, let’s look at other plastic bags in our lives- produce bags, doggy poo, nappy bags. There are alternative reusable options for all these.
Any hints and tips that work for you?
Meanwhile make a comment on the Plastic Bag Ban proposal through the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s  online survey or submission  before Friday 8 March 2018 and start to plan a life less plastic. 
15 Feb 2018 11:53 AM  /  Penny Dowd  /  1 comments

Penny Dowd

I have already adapted the no plastic bag when shopping, I carry material bags in my car for the weekly shop and a foldaway bag in my handbag for bits and bobs.

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