Council votes to resubmit plastic bag reduction law

Council last night agreed to resubmit a local law which will ban single–use non–biodegradable plastic bags being provided by retailers in Fremantle.

The move to resubmit the local law came after legal advice to determine a pathway forward on plastic bag reduction after the first attempt was disallowed by the State Government on a technicality – a mandatory ten cent charge.

So the only substantive changes are that the law will no longer require retailers to charge a minimum fee of 10 cents for each alternative shopping bag provided to shoppers

The City will now undergo another full advertising and comment period, and will develop a full marketing and communications strategy around the local law.

So please have your say. I think this is a great initiative that had its origins in Plastic Free Freo community group to reduce the 4 billion plastic bags that Australians use each year.


The local law was originally advertised from the 16 October 2012, closing 6 December 2012 after it was adopted by council. Significant support for the local law was received during the advertising period, with over 65% of submissions in favour of the local law being enacted.

The City had created a marketing strategy around the local law and proposed a ‘hard start’ date of the 21 August 2013. This official launch date was unable to be observed due to the local law not having been considered by the Joint Standing Committee / Parliament. This caused some issues with retailers who had been preparing for this date.

The local law was disallowed on October 2013 and the Plastic Bag Free City Working Group came together in November 2013 to consider the next steps and decided to seek legal advice on the reports. Following legal advice and learning from past experience it was recommended that no ‘hard start date’ should be imposed on retailers and community consultation should be undertaken through the transition process.

Additionally the City is working with The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and its delegated committee Municipal Waste Advisory Committee (MWAC) to ensure that, during this process, other local governments are given the means to submit an identical local law and to support the advocacy process around this campaign.

About Mayor of Fremantle Brad Pettitt's blog
City of Fremantle Mayor

7 Responses to Council votes to resubmit plastic bag reduction law

  1. janinemarshall says:

    This is wonderful.. I feel many will be happy now the issue of charge has been changed.
    The ‘no hard start’ date too will work well – this way retailers can use whatever bags they have already got or ordered in bulk, and then begin that transition without the worry of a fixed date ahead.
    Lead by example, well done Freo!

  2. Nige says:

    Yes this is great, but what is the point. The council only wants to hear what it wants to hear, otherwise it would of rejected the J Shed proposal. because the overwhelming majority of Fremantle residents and rate payers are against the size of that proposal.

  3. John D Logan says:

    So what will shoppers put their produce in that will have less impact on the environment than the current bags – for God’s sake think this through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    • John
      There are a range of options from re-using a hardier bag to biodegradable bags made from vegetable starch.
      Both will be encouraged

      • Colin Nichol says:

        As you know, Brad – I favour the biodegradable option be actively promoted and hopefully made cheaper, as plastic is so ubiquitous it can only be replaced by something similar, as multipurpose and convenient. It will be near impossible to expect everyone to always remember to bring a bag, especially when it comes to unplanned, spontaneous purchases.

  4. carmel callaghan says:


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