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Western Australia bans plastic coffee cups


Single-use plastic coffee cups to be completely banned in an Australian state: Here’s what you need to know about the new rules

  • WA will ban plastic cups on March 1, 2024

Western Australia is banning all single-use coffee cups in favor of compostable alternatives by March 2024.

Only cardboard coffee cups and lids are permitted under the rules, with coffee lovers urged to bring their own reusable replacement.

“Each year, more than 182 million takeaway coffee cups are used by Western Australians,” said a spokesperson for the Western Australian Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Most ready-to-go cups of coffee end up in a landfill, but many are scattered, too. There are no large-scale recycling options, and cups pollute curbside recycling systems.

The ban includes disposable cups that look like paper but have a plastic lining on the inside that prevents them from being recycled.

Companies have been advised that the cost of switching to biodegradable coffee cups with a lid (above) will average about 7 cents per coffee

The Washington state government has asked companies to begin phasing out single-use plastic cups to prepare for an outright ban.

She said the upfront cost of switching to compostable cups would be about an additional seven cents per coffee.

However, she urged companies to consider that more low-cost options are likely to be available in the future and that single-use plastic charges are impacting the environment.

The cup ban is part of the Washington state government’s plan for plastics, which aims to significantly reduce single-use plastics by 2025 by banning the items in four phases.

Plastic shopping bags, straws and cutlery have already been banned.

The next rounds of plastic bans will arrive in WA on September 1, 2023, with loose polystyrene packaging, microbeads, cotton buds with plastic stems, polystyrene packaging for raw meat and biodegradable seafood packaging to make it illegal.

South Australia has also committed to ban the sale of single-use plastic cups by September 2024.

Neither the Victorian nor New South Wales governments have lifted any bans on coffee cups.


Expanded polystyrene packaging (unpacked) From September 1, 2023

microbeads From September 1, 2023

Cotton swabs with plastic stems From September 1, 2023

Expanded polystyrene cups and trays for raw meat and seafood From September 1, 2023

Biodegradable plastics From September 1, 2023

plastic production bags From March 1, 2024

Plastic deli trays are not covered in the first stage ban From March 1, 2024

Plastic coffee cups and all plastic cup lids are disposable From March 1, 2024

Lids for bowls, trays, dishes and takeout containers From September 1, 2024

Expanded polystyrene packaging (moulded) From 1 July 2025

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