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Reducing the use of disposable plastic

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Number:           2018/03
Date of Issue:  12/11/2018
Review Date:   30/06/2021

Download: PC Reducing the Use of Disposable Plastic




This policy seeks to significantly reduce the amount of single use plastics procured by State Government agencies. It aims to support agencies to make better purchasing choices through the integration of sustainability in the procurement process.This policy requires agencies to choose sustainable options when procuring goods and services to improve sustainability and increase the use of recycled products. This includes, as a minimum:

  • replacing commonly purchased single use plastic products with recyclable, compostable or reusable alternatives. Examples of this include replacing disposable plastic cups, foam cups, plastic straws and plastic utensils with paper or other compostable alternatives;
  • reviewing existing agency contracts to achieve better pricing and discussing opportunities with suppliers to substitute plastic products with reusable and compostable products.
Application of the policy

This policy applies to all public sector entities other than those listed in Schedule 1 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994. 

Compliance with this policy

It is the responsibility of Directors General or Chief Executive Officers to comply with this policy and make responsible decisions about the use of disposable plastic products. 


The policy does not affect the use of single use plastic items that have already been purchased.

Assistance with this policy

Agencies seeking assistance in complying with this policy should:

  • For purchases below $250,000 contact your agency's nominated procurement representative;
  • For purchases above $250,000 contact the Department of Finance's Government Procurement; and
  • For more information on Common Use Arrangement products contact the Contract Manager listed in the Buyer's Guide.

The Government is committed to developing and implementing environmental management policies and practices that reduce the amount of waste we generate, and increase demand for recycled products. By reducing the amount of single use plastic items we purchase, we will reduce our waste footprint. By purchasing items that are readily recyclable, compostable or reusable, we enable recycling industries and increase the visibility and awareness of alternative purchasing practices. By purchasing items that contain recycled content, we create and expand markets for recycled materials.


This policy acknowledges that the Government's own consumption of disposable items and purchasing power can be significant. As part of Government action to reduce single-use plastic in line with community expectations, it is also reasonable for the community to expect that government will lead by example and reduce its own consumption of these plastics.


This policy speaks to this Government's commitment to improving the environmental sustainability of the procurement process. It is also in keeping with the Government's recently enacted Environmental Protection (Plastic Bags) Regulations 2018, introduced in response to evidence of the environmental impact of single-use lightweight plastic bags.


Mark McGowan MLA


For enquiries contact:                            Peter Musk 

                                                               Manager Programs, Strategic Policy

                                                               Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

                                                               (08) 6364 7000 or

Other relevant Circulars:                       N/A  
Circular/s replaced by this Circular:      N/A

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.