Plan for Plastics - Stage 2 regulations (barrier bags) - consultation survey for businesses

Closes 31 May 2024

Opened 22 Apr 2024

Overview

The Western Australian Plan for Plastics provides a roadmap for banning single-use plastic items in a staged approach. Western Australians showed strong support for the Plan for Plastics, with more than 98 per cent of those surveyed saying they supported further action on single-use plastics.

Many Western Australians identified barrier bags (also known as produce bags) as a priority area for action. Conventional soft plastic barrier bags are commonly made from LDPE, HDPE, PP, or a combination of these polymers, typically with a range of additives that give the bag its physical characteristics. The variety in soft plastic composition makes it an extremely difficult material to recycle. Furthermore, soft plastics are often contaminated with food or bio-based plastic polymers, which increases the complexity of processing them.

The Stage 2 ban on barrier bags is being amended to allow the use of certified compostable barrier bags that clearly display the Australian Standard 4736-2006 (AS 4736-2006) certification to be exempt from the ban. These barrier bags will be the only type of prescribed plastic bags allowed to be made of single-use plastic. Reusable and plastic-free single-use options will remain a compliant alternative.

Certified compostable barrier bags will be able to be reused in households as caddy liners for food organics and garden organics (FOGO) kerbside collection systems in participating Local Government Areas (LGA); supporting food waste minimisation and providing a clear secondary use and circular end-of-life waste processing option.

This consultation seeks business and industry feedback on the proposed scope, timeline and design standard, which will be used to inform the final barrier bag policy position. The regulations will then be introduced via amendment to the Environmental Protection (Prohibited Plastics and Balloons) Regulations 2018.

The proposal is that from 1 September 2024, barrier bags will be required to be certified to Australian Standard 4736-2006. From 1 July 2025, barrier bags will be required to meet the new barrier bags design standard.

Plan for Plastics - Stage 2 regulations (barrier bags) - consultation survey for businesses

Audiences

  • Public

Interests

  • Waste Policy