Rottnest Island bans plastic drinking straws


Rottnest Island will become the first Australian jurisdiction to ban plastic drinking straws, but green groups and anti-plastic campaigners say the entire State should now go straw-free.

The WA Government yesterday announced single-use plastic straws would be banned on Rotto from May 1, when cafes and businesses would only supply biodegradable paper straws upon request.

Conservation Council WA boss Piers Verstegen said it was an “encouraging step” but a State-wide solution was needed to stop straws ending up in landfill or the ocean, where they are a “major problem” for marine life.

“Starting a plastic straw ban on Rottnest makes sense because straws are a major problem for marine life and litter would make its way into the ocean very fast,” he said.

“In fact, Rottnest is an ideal location to begin phasing in bans on all single-use plastic ... allowing alternatives to be trialled by businesses on the island before being taken up more widely across the State.

“Ultimately, a State-wide solution will be easier to enforce and compliance will be clearer for businesses and consumers. If people still want straws for non-essential purposes, there are more sustainable options available, such as bamboo, stainless steel and paper straws.”

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the McGowan Government had no plans to legislate a State-wide ban. But he said he would listen to community feedback through an online survey being run by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, asking West Australians for their views on reducing single-use plastics, including straws.

“With plastic taking an average of 450 years to start to degrade, we want to do more to stop plastic ending up on Western Australia’s beautiful beaches and in our oceans,” Mr Dawson said.

A State Government spokesperson confirmed there would be no fines attached to the Rottnest plastic straw ban.

Some businesses have already decided to go it alone and give single-use plastic straws the flick, including Mosman Park fishing-themed bar Rodney’s Bait n Tackle.

Owners Nathan Nisbet and Scott Kociuruba serve some cocktails with a reusable bamboo and paper straws available on a self-serve basis.

Loola Loves proudly stock both biodegradable & compostable options.

Our bamboo straws come in packs of 10 with 2 brushes & our wheat straws are available in boxes of 100 in both 13cm & 20cm lengths.