Push for plastic bag ban in WA

The Town of Bassendean will tonight decide whether to ask the State Government to implement a state-wide ban on single use plastic bag distribution.

Bassendean councillor Renee McLennan wants Environment Minister Albert Jacob and opposition environment spokesman Chris Tallentire to commit to the introduction of a ban by 2018.

“The motion … calls for the Town of Bassendean to write to the Environment Minister expressing support and calling for a commitment to a state-wide ban on single use plastic bags in alignment with what other states have already achieved,” Cr McLennan said.

Cr McLennan wrote in her submission that South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory had already banned single-use plastic bag bans.

She said Australians used about four billion plastic bags per year, or 10 million per day.

South Australia was the first state to introduce the ban and now uses almost 400 million less plastic bags per year.

The Fremantle Council attempted to implement a ban within its own boundaries in 2013 and again in 2015, but both moves were blocked when the State Government passed disallowance motions.

Cr McLennan said a ban was more effective if it applied across the entire state.

“Given that previous attempts to introduce local laws to this effect from local governments in WA have been unsuccessful, there is little point us pursing this independently and a statewide approach would be much more effective,” she said.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob’s spokeswoman said the State Government had no intention of regulating plastic bag usage.

Instead, Mr Jacob was working on broad waste strategies, she said.