WA changes law on takeaway coffees in environmental crackdown

Single-use, non-compostable coffee cups are now banned in Western Australia, with the country’s first ban on plastic-lined takeaway cups now in place.

WA became the first state to introduce the ban on the coffee cups on Friday, with businesses who fail to comply facing the threat of hefty fines.

Cafes can instead use compostable paperboard cups, which are exempted from the ban, but are being urged to encourage customers to bring their own keep cups.

Takeaway coffee cup lids now need to be made from either paper or bagasse, a by-product of sugarcane.

The state’s Environment Minister, Reece Whitby, said the latest move was part of the Cook government’s wider push to crack down on single-use plastics in the state.

The coffee cup ban is the second phase of WA’s Plan for Plastics, which Mr Whitby said had already led to 430 million fewer single-use plastic products like takeaway containers, disposable plates and cutlery and thick plastic bags from going to landfill each year.

“This ban complements the ban on cotton buts with plastic shafts, degradable plastic and microbeads that have already been implemented in WA,” he said.

“The state government will continue to work with retailers and the community to ensure that the changes are well understood and implemented successfully.”

The government ordered businesses to start phasing out the cups early last year.

A consultation paper in 2022 found people in WA used 182 million coffee cups per year.

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