The state government of Western Australia has announced plans to phase out single-use plastic coffee cups and lids by the end of next year.
The announcement is part of the government’s plan to fast-track its two-phase Plan for Plastics by four years.
In the plan’s first phase, various single-use plastic items, including bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases, will be banned by the end of this year.
In the second phase, which will be completed by the end of next year, plastic barrier and produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics will be banned.
Takeaway coffee cups and lids made from single-use plastics, which were not part of the initial plan, have now been included in the list of second-phase items.
In the meantime, consumers and businesses will be able to use environmentally friendly takeaway cups and lids.
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Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said: “The Western Australian Plan for Plastics sets our state on a path to becoming a plastic-free leader in Australia.
“Single-use plastics have a terrible impact on our environment, wildlife, public health and recycling efforts. The vast majority of Western Australians have told us that they want this to stop.
“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.
“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.”
New South Wales has also announced a decision to ban common single-use plastic items, including plastic bags, cotton buds and straws, as part of a five-year plan.
Last June, Western Australia called for expressions of interest for grants to increase the state’s capacity for processing paper and cardboard.