Stage 2 Single Use Plastics Ban to take effect on the 27 February 2024 – Courtesy of the SBDC

Stage one of the Single Use Plastics ban took effect on the 22nd January 2022 with the following single-use plastic items banned for sale, supply and distribution:

  • plates
  • bowls
  • cutlery
  • drink stirrers
  • drinking straws
  • cups
  • thick plastic bags
  • expanded polystyrene (EPS) takeaway food containers

As well as:

  • helium balloon releases

Enforcement of stage one regulations began on 1 July 2022 for all items except for single-use cups, which commenced on 1 October 2022.

Stage two – From 27 February 2023

Stage two of the plan, set to be completed by July 2025, includes a ban on the following single-use items.

ItemBan enforcement date
Expanded polystyrene packaging (loose)1 September 2023
Expanded polystyrene cups and trays for raw meat and seafood1 September 2023
Degradable plastics1 September 2023
Cotton buds with plastic stems1 September 2023
Microbeads1 September 2023
Coffee cups and all disposable plastic cup lids1 March 2024
Trays for food not covered in the Stage 1 ban1 March 2024
Produce bags1 September 2024
Lids for bowls, trays, plates and takeaway food containers1 September 2024
Expanded polystyrene packaging (moulded)1 July 2025

There will be substantial transition periods in place to help businesses make necessary changes.

How to manage the impact on your business

Here are some ideas which might help you to prepare for the ban on single-use plastics in your business.

  • Get informed. There are many more sustainable options available once you start exploring single-use plastic alternatives. Some products are made from bamboo, natural or recyclable materials – or you may be able to introduce reusable alternatives.
  • Look for opportunities. Cutting out single-use plastics could lead to some fresh new ideas for your business. For example, you could explore offering a small discount to customers who bring their own cups or containers. If you sell packaged products, there may be some new branding or partnership opportunities available with a new, more sustainable type of packaging.
  • Look at your previous wins. Adjusting to changes and new regulations is part of running any business – it just takes time to plan ahead and then to adjust to the new changes. Perhaps your business has already adapted to the plastic bag ban and container deposit schemes and you can take a similar approach to removing single-use plastics from your business.
  • Focus on the bigger picture. There’s no doubt that single-use plastics have been convenient and cheap to provide – but now it’s time to focus on a more sustainable future. Being more environmentally-friendly in your business benefits your customers, which can have a positive impact on your business in the longer term.
  • Use the assistance and information available to help businesses adapt to the change, detailed below.

More information

The State Government is committed to helping WA businesses adapt to these changes with a range of advice and support. You might also find a lot of useful information relevant to your particular products and services within your own industry networks.

The following resources are available to help businesses to adapt to the changes:

If you’d like to discuss this or any other issue your business is facing, you can get in touch with the SBDC free business advisory service.