Labor plans plastic bag war
Single-use plastic bags could be banned in WA after Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said they were a blight on the environment and he would look at ways of ridding them from the State.
And West Australians could soon be getting paid for recycling cans, bottles and cartons, after Mr Dawson said he wanted to make a container deposit scheme a priority.
In his first major interview since Labor won the election, Mr Dawson decried the damage plastic shopping bags did to the environment and said he wanted to ban or limit their use.
The minister revealed he had asked the Waste Authority — the Government’s recycling adviser — to investigate ways of curbing the availability of the products. It comes after City of Fremantle tried to implement a ban on plastic bags. Mr Dawson said that under Labor, local governments would be free to pursue bans, but the Government would explore the possibility of Statewide action.
“I’m a supporter of doing some work to see what we can do to ban the use or limit the use of single-use plastic bags,” Mr Dawson said.
“I’m not sure what that would look like. But I’ve asked the Waste Authority to at least do some work and send some options in that space.
“They (plastic bags) do end up blocking our waterways and ending up in all sorts of places.”
Setting out his agenda for the environment portfolio, Mr Dawson lamented WA’s recycling record. He vowed to establish a cash-for-containers scheme, a promise Labor brought to its election campaign.
Last year, Perth recycled just 41 per cent of its household waste.