A State-wide ban on single use plastic bags will reduce litter and contamination and has the support of the Local Government sector.

The WA Local Government Association’s State Council yesterday passed a resolution in support of a State-wide ban on the plastic bags, agreeing to advocate to the State Government for the ban’s introduction.

WALGA President Cr Lynne Craigie welcomed the resolution, saying the agreed position was the result of significant consultation across the sector.

“In supporting a State-wide ban on plastic bags, Local Government is seeking to reduce litter on the land and in our rivers and ocean, reduce the plastic bag contamination in our composting and alternative waste treatment facilities and to engage the community in the waste avoidance discussion,” Cr Craigie said. 

“This policy position has resulted from significant consultation across the sector and further supports those Local Governments that are already taking action on plastic bags.”

Cr Craigie said that in making the decision, the WALGA State Council also agreed that the ban should be supported by community education, environmental alternatives and an equitable transition period.   

“We will now commence discussions with the State on how to progress with a ban, something which Environment Minister, Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC, has already indicated they are willing to discuss,” she said.

Cr Craigie said the sector was looking forward to the release of the Government Discussion Paper on Plastic Bag Reduction, as it would provide further opportunity for the sector to engage and explore details of the ban and supporting community education and engagement.

She said the Association would support individual Local Governments progressing Local Laws to ban single use plastic bags within their area with a view to maintaining consistency of approach.

“WALGA will continue to support those Local Governments already progressing Local Laws, as the Councils taking this action are doing so to reflect the direction they have received from their community.” 

“We will be recommending they keep in mind the eventual aim of a State wide approach to minimise the impact should legislation be introduced.”