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Australian retailers commended for plastic bag ban

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson commended Woolworths Group and Coles Group today after the retailers announced an impending ban on single-use plastic shopping bags.

The ban on single-use, lightweight plastic bags will extend across both groups’ Australian networks, with Woolworths set to fully implement the initiative within 12 months.

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Mr Dawson said the initiative would play a major role in reducing plastic bag usage in favour of reusable, environmentally friendly options, and showed a commitment to environmental and community responsibility.

The National Litter Index shows that in the past two years, the number of plastic bags in the Western Australian litter stream increased by 8.2 per cent – with highways being the most littered areas for plastic bags.

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said “As the Western Australian Minister for Environment, I commend the major retailers for their decision to phase out single-use shopping bags over the next 12 months.

“I met with Coles and Woolworths last week to indicate that the McGowan Labor Government was working on implementing a State-wide ban of single-use plastic bags so I’m delighted these companies are now acting.

“I believe community support for action on plastic bags has been growing, and people understand we need to act now to stop hundreds of millions of bags filtering into the waste stream every year.

“As a Government we are concerned about the impacts of waste – including plastic – on the environment and will continue to work to reduce those impacts, including by introducing a container deposit scheme in WA.”

Source: Media Statements – Australian retailers commended for plastic bag ban