Plastic straw ban being considered by WA Government, Premier Mark McGowan reveals
The WA Government has revealed it is considering banning plastic straws, after originally ruling out such action.
“Yes, in fact we’re considering a lot more than that,” Premier Mark McGowan told ABC Radio Perth.
“I regard plastic as the enemy of the Earth and I’ve thought this for years, because I’ve seen the impact on marine life and terrestrial life.
“I care deeply about conservation and looking after endangered species.”
Single-use plastic bags will be banned across the state from July 1.
The Greens have long pushed to also ban balloons and plastic drinking straws.
But Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has previously ruled out supporting a ban on straws.
“As a father of a young child, can I say I’m not going to be a party pooper,” he reportedly said in September last year.
Coffee cup attracts criticism
The Premier, however, is pushing for a wider plastic ban.
“Plastic is a shocking thing,” he said.
“Whether it’s packaging, straws, whether it’s the plethora in the course of a day that you see or experience, there’s often alternatives and disposable plastic is shocking,” he said.
“I think the entire world needs to move towards getting rid of it.”
Mr McGowan drank from a disposable coffee cup during his morning radio interview, a point not lost on some watching the interview broadcast live on the ABC Perth Facebook page.
“I see you drinking out of a single use coffee cup, which cannot be recycled,” Sarah Quinton commented.
“When are you going to show some leadership and get yourself a Keep Cup and use it every day?”
The Government also wants to introduce a container deposit scheme to return 10 cents to the customer.
“I’ve authorised the Environment Minister to look at what further initiatives we can take to ban plastic across our community,” Mr McGowan said.
Environment Minster’s about-face
Mr Dawson appeared to have a change of mind this afternoon.
“The WA Government is currently considering what more we can do to tackle the scourge of single-use plastics, including plastic straws,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday afternoon.
“Some large supermarket chains are taking action to reduce their environmental impacts in relation to packaging, plastic bags and food waste but there’s a lot more that needs to be done.
“The packaging used on things like fruit and vegetables is scandalous and I’ve urged Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation to do more in this space.”