Plastic takeaway containers could soon be a relic of the past in WA, with green groups
and anti-plastic campaigners calling for a ban on the single-use food containers.
Lightweight plastic bags will be banned across the state from July 1 but those fighting the war on waste now have their sights set on the humble takeaway container popularised by Chinese, Indian and a swag of other restaurants and takeaways.
Campaigners say biodegradable alternatives are now just as good for holding hot food, and have called on the WA Government to ban the plastic boxes.
It follows a similar move in Tasmania, where the Hobart City Council has committed to phasing out plastic takeaway containers by 2020.
Conservation Council WA director Piers Verstegen said the plastic bag ban should be “just the tip of the iceberg” and he also called for a ban on single-use takeaway containers.
“Plastic straws, plastic takeaway containers, millions and millions of plastic bottles — they’re just unnecessary and they’re going to be around for hundreds of years, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces.,” he said.
Perth waste education expert Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, who founded the Plastic Free July movement, which has become a global phenomenon, said the Government should also consider banning polystyrene takeaway containers, forcing food outlets to switch to compostable containers.
But Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said many takeaway food outlets had already switched to cardboard or recycled containers, and he warned a blanket ban was not the answer and could lead to food price hikes.
“Green lobby groups must remain aware of the fact that any additional blanket bans on plastic packaging has an associated cost that is ultimately borne by the consumer,” he said.
WA Local Government Association (WALGA) president Lynne Craigie welcomed the plastic bag ban and urged councils to explore ways to reduce waste but she said WALGA didn’t have a specific policy for bans on other plastic including takeaway containers.