Western Australia’s (WA) ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags has come into effect for retailers throughout the state.

On 1 July last year, the Western Australia Government started the implementation of lightweight plastic bag ban regulations in a move to reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment and marine life.

All lightweight plastic shopping bags with a thickness of 35µ or less such as degradable, biodegradable and compostable bags are covered under this ban.

The government has partnered with the National Retail Association (NRA), which will assist all retailers, including grocery stores, takeaway food, pharmacies, and even markets to comply with the new law and help explore alternative bag solutions.

“It’s vital that Western Australians are aware that in just a few days’ time they will no longer be provided with lightweight plastic bags when they go shopping.”

In a statement, NRA industry policy manager David Stout noted that customers across the state need to be prepared for the change.

Stout added: “It’s vital that Western Australians are aware that in just a few days’ time they will no longer be provided with lightweight plastic bags when they go shopping.

“The bag ban applies to all retailers operating in Western Australia regardless of size or type ranging from newsagents to food outlets, to pharmacies and petrol stations.

“There are only four days to go before Western Australian permanently bins the lightweight plastic bag.

“Shoppers need to make sure that they have alternative options in place such as reusable bags to safeguard against any inconvenience.”