Key updates

exemption applications

Exemption application guidelines now available

Under the regulations, the CEO of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) can provide an exemption to a person or class of persons for a prescribed plastic item or prescribed drinking straw, for a specified kind or in specified circumstances, or both, where the CEO considers that it is reasonably necessary to do so.

Important: Exemptions for plastic shopping bags cannot be accepted.

Exemptions must be granted for a specified period and can be subject to conditions. Where significant numbers of applications are received of a similar type, the CEO may elect to provide an exemption to a class of persons rather than to individual people.

Who can apply for an exemption?

Any person, company/business, local or state authority can submit an application for exemption under the regulations for a prescribed plastic item or prescribed plastic drinking straw.

When can I apply?

The Regulations are currently being amended so that applications for exemptions can be made before 1 July 2022.

Draft applications welcome now

While DWER cannot approve or deny applications before 1 July, the DWER team will accept draft applications. This is to facilitate the exchange of information between applicants and the department without prejudice, to ensure that applications will contain all necessary information when formally submitted and to provide applicants with DWER’s preliminary views on their application.

How do I apply?

Documents are available on the Government website

How will my application be assessed?

Assessment will be guided by the exemption considerations (see link above). External advice may also be sought where expertise is required in a relevant field (for example, health advice).

How will I be notified on the decision?

Once an application is determined the decision is communicated by DWER to the applicant(s) by email or letter. The decision will also be published on the DWER website.

Need help?

If you need help to complete your application or have any questions relating to the assessment process, please contact the Government via email at or (08) 6364 7000 and ask for the Single-Use Plastics Team.

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