The Western Australia Government has started the implementation of lightweight plastic bag ban regulations after announcing them last year to reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment and marine life.
The plastic bag ban enforced by the state government comes after South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory started implementing similar bans.
Alongside Western Australia, Queensland has also banned the single-use plastic bags.
The Australian state of Victoria is planning to implement a plastic bag ban from the end of next year.
As per the ban, all retailers are required to end the supply of lightweight plastic bags with handles up to 35 microns thickness.
The ban covers degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags as the government considers them to pose a threat to wildlife, due to their inability to breakdown in the environment.
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Western Australia Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said: “Studies have shown significant damage caused by plastic pollution – seabirds have been found with their digestive tracts filled with plastic fragments and turtles can confuse plastic bags with jellyfish.
“We will continue our efforts – under Western Australia’s Waste Strategy – to reduce the amount of waste generated, prevent littering, increase material recovered from the waste stream, and reduce waste destined for landfill.”
The government has given retailers time until 31 December this year to phase out their existing stocks of banned bags.
Dawson added: “I encourage all retailers to move to alternatives as quickly as possible to align with national initiatives and community sentiment.”
Previously, Australian retailers Woolworths and Coles stopped supplying disposable plastic bags.