WA Plastic Ban 🥤: In our blog highlighting the plastic bans in various Aussie states, we have mentioned that each state does a step-by-step implementation of their respective bans. A significant change is on the horizon for coffee aficionados in Western Australia. On the first day of March 2024, a notable shift awaits the morning routine: the farewell to conventional plastic coffee cups. In their stead, compostable alternatives will grace the hands of patrons. This transition, though small in scale, carries considerable implications for environmental preservation. Let us cover everything we should learn about the WA plastic ban’s latest implementation.

Last Friday, WA put a stop to the common single-use coffee cup that lots of people use to kickstart their mornings by implementing a plastic, non-compostable item ban. We here at Waster, for one, start our day with a nice cuppa to keep us going at work.

This is just the beginning of a series of new rules across Australia, all aimed at cutting down on plastic waste. Over in NSW, the government is taking a good look at suggestions for their upcoming ban on plastics, which just wrapped up a period of public input last week.

Meanwhile, Victoria has already said no to polystyrene cups and is chatting with businesses to find a new option for the beloved disposable coffee cup.

Below, we will give more in-depth information about the plastic ban and compostable-only policy in WA, so stick around and read more.

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More on WA’s plastic ban and compostable-cup-only policy

Through proactive education initiatives and active involvement of stakeholders, the WA ban on plastic and non-compostable coffee cups is set to be implemented in close collaboration with retailers and consumers.

Rather than resorting to punitive measures, the State Government is placing a strong emphasis on fostering cooperation and providing support to ensure a seamless transition towards more environmentally friendly alternatives.

The positive effects of Western Australia’s Plan for Plastics are already noticeable, with a remarkable decrease of 430 million single-use plastics ending up in landfills or litter each year.

Building upon this success, the second phase of the WA plastic ban plan aims to further reduce waste by eliminating an additional 700 million single-use items annually. Among these, hot beverage cups are expected to contribute significantly to the reduction, surpassing 154 million cups per year.


WA plastic ban stage 2: what items are allowed?

In adherence to the plastic and non-compostable cup ban in WA, only compostable paperboard cups that meet rigorous Australian composting standards will be allowed, whilst lids must be completely free of plastic.

This strategic approach ensures that Western Australia’s commitment to sustainability remains steadfast, emphasising the use of materials that can be renewed rather than perpetuating the cycle of plastic pollution.

Environment Minister Reece Whitby expressed his satisfaction with the implementation of the regional project, recognising its role in creating jobs and enhancing economic growth.

He emphasised how the WA plastic ban aligns with previous prohibitions on items like cotton buds with plastic shafts, degradable plastic and microbeads, which are already in effect at the moment.

“The State Government will continue to work with retailers and the community to ensure that the changes are well understood and implemented successfully,” as mentioned by Minister Whitby.

It is essential to note that the decision to implement these non-compostable item bans came after thorough discussions with businesses. Many of these businesses have shown their backing for the WA plastic and non-compostable ban initiative and have already started using eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.

The teamwork between the Boomerang Alliance, the National Retail Association and the State Government demonstrates a strong dedication to helping businesses during this transition period, following the first few stages of the WA plastic ban.

The WA Plastic Free Places program is specifically designed to provide customised assistance and resources to support businesses in making this switch.


How are the retailers and businesses coping with the change?

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the WA government gave an ample amount of time –nearly a year, as per the report – to ready themselves for the plastic, non-compostable ban by either finding compostable cups that meet the new standards or setting up deposit programs or coffee cup “libraries” to swap out reusable ones.

However, retailers and businesses alike seem sceptical of the current changes brought about by the WA plastic ban, citing some inconsistencies with the implementations.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Ren Taylor, who owns the Grouch & Co Coffee Roasters in the Perth suburb of Myaree has spent $4500 on a cup library and expects the new rules to push up costs by around 10 cents a cup.

While she says she is prepared for the change, Taylor is frustrated that single-use plastics still line supermarket shelves.

“I think once again, the government has plopped it on small businesses to make them look good,” she said.

“Oh, we’re doing something environmental.’ No, you’re not. You’re making small business jump through hoops while big polluters, carbon polluters, plastic polluters continue doing whatever they like.”

She said the new lids, made from sugar cane, would also be jarring for customers used to plastic.

“Our first shipment has just arrived of sugar cane compostable lids, but they are nowhere near where they should be quality-wise,” she said.

We will keep you updated on the latest news surrounding the WA plastic ban, so make sure to read our blogs to learn more.


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