0812 GMT July 17, 2019
They are also urging shoppers to ditch plastic water bottles, wet wipes and plastic toothbrushes, swap cling film for beeswax wraps and only buy loose fruit and vegetables instead of produce packed in bags and on polystyrene trays, news.com.au reported.
The eco hit-list — outlined on a Government website called Own Your Impact — comes as retailers face fines of $5000 if they are caught circulating single-use plastic bags from next Tuesday.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the community was ‘demanding action’ to reduce waste. He said not everyone would want to give up single-use plastic but the new website was ‘a guide for those who want to do more’.
“People are asking, ‘What else can I do?’. This is about giving people the tools and the ideas,” Dawson said.
“Everybody should have a think about the single-use plastic that you use or purchase, and decide if there are changes you can make.
“I’m not proposing that we ban balloons, many parents wouldn’t want to. But some people say we shouldn’t have helium in them. Some local governments have banned that and I’m happy to listen to the community’s feedback on that.”
Already Premier Mark McGowan has ordered all departments to stop using single-use plastic items including plastic cups, straws, plates and cutlery.
The six-month grace period on the plastic bag ban finishes on Tuesday, meaning any retailers caught handing out single-use bags can be fined. While there is no bag ban enforcement squad, Dawson and the National Retail Association was confident supermarket and store owners will comply.
Perth waste education expert Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, who founded the Plastic Free July movement, said the Government should also consider banning polystyrene takeaway containers.
Dawson said he was considering what more could be done to ‘tackle the scourge of single-use plastics’ but he stopped short of endorsing calls to ban other items like takeaway containers, saying that was a Federal issue.
He said the WA Government would soon unveil its new waste strategy, which would include surveying West Australians to determine the community’s priorities for reducing plastic waste.