Retail giant Woolworths will stop making single-use plastic bags available with the bags banned from its supermarkets from today.
Woolworths customers will be required to bring re-usable bags or buy them at the supermarket’s stores and affiliated businesses BWS and Woolworths service stations.
“It’s great that the major supermarkets like Woolworths are support and moving quickly to ban lightweight plastic shopping bags,” environment minister Stephen Dawson said.
The Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018 will come into effect on July 1.
It bans the supply of lightweight plastic bags with handles with a thickness of 35 microns of less.
The bags include degradable, biodegradable and compostable plastic bags.
It can affect marine wildlife and birds, which can inadvertently eat or become entangled in the bags.
Western Australians use around 670 million light plastic bags each year, with most ending in landfill while more than seven million are littered.
“The ban is just one of a number of strategic waste reforms showing this Government’s commitment to reducing waste, which includes a commitment to a container deposit scheme,” Mr Dawson said.
WA joins South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory which already have similar bans in place.
Queensland’s ban also begins on July 1, while Victoria has announced that it will also ban the bags.
“These initiatives reflect the community’s desire to work together to reduce the significant impact of plastic bags, and other waste and litter on our environment,” Mr Dawson said.
Coles and IGA will begin their ban on July 1.