Retailers in Western Australia have been urged to prepare for the state-wide ban on lightweight plastic bags that comes into effect on July 1.

The National Retail Association (NRA) has warned that retailers could face substantial fines if they fail to meet their new obligations.

NRA manger of industry policy David Stout said that it is vital that all businesses are up to speed with their responsibilities to prepare for the ban.

“The NRA has partnered with the state government to help retailers and consumers transition away from lightweight plastic bags.

“The new laws apply to all Western Australian retailers regardless of size or type – from supermarkets to fashion boutiques.

“Retailers will need to consider a range of alternatives and ensure their bags are compliant before January 2019 to avoid substantial fines.

According to the new laws, the ban includes all lightweight plastic bags with handles less than 35 microns thick. Degradable, biodegradable and compostable lightweight bags are also included in the ban.

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