This article first appeared in Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Thomas Oakley-Newell
The Western Australian government has announced it is banning single-use plastic promotional film in outdoor settings, such as retail signage.
The ban will come into effect from March 2024 and applies to material used outdoors for less than 48 hours for promotional purposes such as retail signage and political elections. Safety bunting, such as police tape, or long-term signage are not included in the ban.
Reece Whitby, WA Environment Minister, said he is proud the state continues to lead the way in tackling plastic waste.
“We want to ensure Western Australia sets the benchmark in encouraging environmentally friendly alternatives,” Whitby said.
“This is the next step in our journey to become a more sustainable state. It’s about creating positive behavioural changes that together make a big difference.”
In a social media post, Whitby said they are not letting politicians and political parties off the hook.
“During elections, kilometres of single-use plastic is plastered across walls and fences. At the last Federal Election, WA’s political parties used up to 50 kilometres of plastic bunting. It can take hundreds of years to break down.”
WA’s Plan for Plastics has so far phased out 18 items, saving over 1.1 million single-use plastics from landfills or litter across the state each year.
The government suggested alternatives such as corflute, re-usable cloth banners and signs, wood pulp-lined board, and online promotional materials.
While regulations are yet to be finalised, the government stated it will be taking a common-sense, education-first approach in enforcing the ban, but retailers and suppliers who do not make any effort to transition or deliberately continue to supply the banned items could face fines up to $5,000 for an individual or up to $25,000 for a body corporate.