Over 670 million plastic bags are used in Western Australia every year, with approximately 7 million ending up in the environment as litter.

In addition, less than 2% of lightweight plastic bags are recycled with the majority piling up in landfill, potentially lasting thousands of years.

The WA bag ban will affect all retailers that currently use some form of lightweight plastic shopping bag – from grocery stores to fashion boutiques, from convenience stores to fast food outlets, from mine canteens to markets.

The National Retail Association has partnered with the Western Australian Government to help retailers navigate the new compliance issues, find alternative bag solutions and manage customer sentiment to ultimately minimise negative impacts on your business.



As of 1 Jan 2022, the WA government is replacing the current bag ban with a state-wide ban on ALL plastic shopping bags, including plastic-laminated paper bags. Additional plastic items, such as straws, cutlery and foodware, will also be banned. Enforcement of the new legislation will commence 1 July 2022.

For more information on the 2022 ban see www.plasticsbanwa.com.au

The 2018 Bag Ban Explained

The 2018 Bag Ban Explained

In summary, the Western Australian Government implemented a state-wide ban on lightweight plastic shopping bags from 1 July 2018.


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The WA plastic bag ban will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

From 1 July 2018 it will be illegal for any person to provide false or misleading information about a banned bag.

Retailers will have until 31 December 2018 to phase out their existing stocks of banned bags and may face fines if they supply banned bags after this date.

The NRA believes that retailers should consider exhausting all banned bags by 1 July 2018 to align with national initiatives and to avoid customer confusion or backlash.

Background to the ban

Background to the ban

The aim of the Western Australian bag ban is to reduce the number of lightweight plastic bags that are littered, and the associated environmental impacts of this source of plastic pollution.


The following information is adapted from the Implementing a lightweight single-use plastic bag ban in Western Australia Discussion Paper, published by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

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Please note: the advice provided on this website is designed to assist retailers in understanding the ban and weighing up options but is by no means exhaustive. Each retail business should assess and make decisions based on their own advice and situation.