Western Australian hospitality businesses will receive support as they make the transition away from single-use plastics, which will be banned from July 1.
WA Environment Minister Reece Whitby announced cafes and restaurants will be able to consult Boomerang Alliance, who are working with the state government to make the shift easier and more cost-effective for Perth businesses.
The pivot from plastic has widespread community support, according to Mr Whitby.
“98 percent of WA consumers want single use plastics to be banned,” he says.
“The less plastic in the environment, the better.”Environment Minister Reece Whitby
In the state government’s Plan for Plastics, single-use plastic plates, bowls, cutlery, drink stirrers, straws, thick plastic bags and polystyrene containers will be banned from use in hospitality from July 1 this year.
The plan includes a partnership with Boomerang Alliance, a collection of organisations that research plastic pollution, and consult with hospitality businesses to help them transition away from single-use plastics.
For many, the battle against plastic has already begun. The Town of Victoria Park, alongside many businesses in the area, is already taking action.
Victoria Park mayor Karen Vernon says: “Victoria Park banned single use plastics on town property and at town events on January 1, 2020, and we rolled out support for local businesses over 2020 and 2021 through the plastic-free program.”
Victoria Park’s Sonder Cafe owner Brodie Jones supports the ban, despite the extra cost.
“We have always done the more expensive option, which isn’t that much of a difference… it was always just a passion of mine to do the right thing,” she says.
Their early engagement with the program led them to become the champions of the Plastic Free Places Program.
But some businesses are still resistant to the change. Mr Whitby encouraged them to contact Boomerang Alliance for advice on how to get to a plastic free future.
Boomerang Alliance spokesperson Bree Jennings says: “The most difficult thing [for businesses] is thinking that it’s going to cost them a lot.
“We come in and explain to them that often it’s really cost effective… and encouraging them on their next order to look at those alternatives.”