Coffee cups go early in WA single-use plastic ban

Coffee cups go early in WA single-use plastic ban

Single-use plastic coffee cups and lids will be phased out by the end of next year in Western Australia as the government fast-tracks an ambitious plastics plan.

Single-use plastic bowls, cups, plates, cutlery, stirrers, straws, polystyrene food containers, thick plastic bags and helium balloon releases will be phased out by the end of 2021 in stage one.

Stage two, now to be completed by the end of 2022, includes plastic barrier/produce bags, cotton buds with plastic shafts, polystyrene packaging, microbeads and oxo-degradable plastics and Sunday's announcement confirmed it would also include takeaway coffee cups and lids with single-use plastic materials.

Consumers and businesses will be able to use alternative environmentally friendly takeaway cups and lids.

Education and support for businesses will be the focus of the first six months after each stage, rather than compliance, community organisations and businesses will be supported to adapt, and people who need single-use plastic items to maintain their quality of life, such as those in the disability, aged care and health sectors, will be ensured a continued supply.

The government says more than 98 per cent of West Australians surveyed support further action on single-use plastics.

Premier Mark McGowan said the public, in particularly young people, supported the move to use alternatives to plastics.

Mr McGowan said each Australian produced around 120kg of plastic each year.

"We need to reduce that, so much of it goes into the ocean and rivers and we need to get rid of it," Mr McGowan."

He said animals were choking and dying after swallowing plastic.

Environmental Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson encouraged people to use environmentally-friendly alternatives.

"This will significantly reduce plastic in landfill," Ms Sanderson said.

"If it can't be reused or recycled, it shouldn't be made."

Ms Sanderson said the State Government would be taking an educational approach with business owners for the first six months following each stage of the phase-out.