WA councils back bag ban
WA is rushing to catch up on the growing wave of anti-single-use plastic bag sentiment.
Coles and Woolworths have announced plans to phase out the long-standing environmental hazard.
All states and territories other than NSW, Victoria and WA have implemented single-use bag bans, or have plans to do so, so pressure is mounting for the last jursidictions to get in line.
For WA’s City of Fremantle, outlawing the bags has been an ongoing saga since 2013, with previous efforts having been struck down twice by the Barnett Government.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt says the council is about to launch a third attempt to introduce the local law.
“This time the State Government has said they would not block it,” he told the ABC.
“We need to advertise the local law, and that's happening next week, so we'd expect it to be in place within six months.
“We have a new state government which is much more sympathetic to it.”
Mayor Pettitt said the decision by the major supermarket chains would be “significant”.
“I think it's fair to say they're the biggest single users of plastic bags,” he said.
“When we did our local laws in 2013, the only objections we had were from the major supermarkets.
“You can't help but think that this would pave the way for a whole ban on single-use bags across the country.”
In the remote Hedland region, a local environmental organisation is pushing for a statewide ban.
“Care For Hedland has collected and forwarded on data to relevant authorities regarding the amount of plastic bag litter found locally,” Care for Hedland chair Kelly Howlett told The West Australian
“There is nothing ... starker than the Adopt-a-Spot clean-ups that are held across from the Port Hedland Shopping Centre that always show that at least 80 per cent of the nearby roadside litter collected is plastic shopping bag and/or plastic fresh produce bag-related litter.”
The Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA) says it will soon start discussions with the State on how to make the ban happen.
“In supporting a Statewide 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,” said WALGA president Lynne Craigie.