WA Now Dishing Out Fines Of Up To $25,000 For Using Single-Use Cups After Historic Plastic Ban

Western Australia has become the first state in the nation to introduce a ban on non-compostable takeaway coffee cups.

WA has become the first state in the nation to introduce a ban on non-compostable takeaway coffee cups with fines dolled out for both individuals and businesses who don’t cooperate.

The state famous for normally being three hours behind the east coast of Australia has now surged ahead on this issue, with the move expected to save more than 154 million coffee cups ending up in landfill.

WA’s Environment Minister Reece Whitby said the state would be, “allowing cafes that might have old stocks of compostable coffee cups to trade them out,” per the ABC.

“This is an excellent move for the environment because we know that plastic persists in the environment for decades and decades and decades.”

With the introduction of the new rules, fines will be issued for those who don’t play ball.

If you’re found to be continually breaking the rules, you may be forced to pay a total of $5,000 as an individual and a whopping $25,000 if you’re a business.

So how did this come about? Why didn’t everyone freak out like they did when plastic bags were phased out in supermarkets?

The WA Government conducted a 12-month period of consultation with businesses to ensure that the switchover was managed in the smoothest way possible.

As of Friday, disposable plastic food trays (without lids) such as the ones sushi and bento boxes are served in, are also banned.

The move puts bigger states like Victoria and NSW on notice, with neither state currently employing similar restrictions.

“It’s in the interests of both consumers and business that the ban list be harmonised”, said Boomerang Alliance’s Jeff Angel, an environmental advocate.

“That doesn’t mean that we have the lowest common denominator, that means that laggard states like NSW and Victoria have to catch up fast to the best practice.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the NSW Government has just wrapped up its latest plastic ban community consultation period.

The Vic Government is reportedly also consulting with industry over how best to replace disposable hot drink cups.

Header image via Adcharin on iStock.