In an attempt to reduce waste and boost overall environmental stability, Western Australia have spearheaded a plan to ban single-use plastic items.
Per a government media release, the Mark McGowan-led ban will bring forward phase one by four years, with a new timeframe introduced in hope to implement the roadmap until the end of 2022.
“The McGowan Labor Government has fast-tracked its Plan for Plastics by four years with single-use plastic bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases to be phased out by the end of the year,” the statement read.
“The new timeframes will mean that WA remains a leader in this space.
“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.”
The state aims to continue driving the reduction of waste in particular through the removal of coffee cups, while New South Wales are also racing to achieve environmental cleanliness with the state government announcing a version of their own ban across a five-year plan.
“We want NSW to be a leader when it comes to reducing waste, maximising recycling and protecting our environment, but we want to do it in a way that drives job creation and innovation,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
After the announcement on Sunday, the NSW government proves the immediate need for change where possible.
Paper and bamboo alternatives for products will be provided as overall use of plastics are set to be phased out.
There is an expectation that NSW will rid of plastic shopping bags within a sixth-month timeframe, as other products will be checked off and reviewed once phase one is complete.
“The single-use items we are phasing-out will stop an estimated 2.7 billion items of plastic litter from ending up in our environment and waterways over the next 20 years,” NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said.
The two states now lead the way in regards to environmental protection, focussing on shifting the number one global problem of plastic pollution.
“We’re seeing huge momentum across the country on tackling plastic pollution, with announcements from WA and NSW just the latest in a race to the top,” WWF Australia Policy Manager Kate Noble said, congratulating the efforts of both states.
“Australians discard about a billion coffee cups every year. This is a massive mountain of waste that most governments aren’t acting on, so it’s great to see WA leading the way.”
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Read More: Plan To Ban Single-Use Plastics Fast-Tracked By WA & NSW