Woolworths Will Stop Stocking Single-Use Plastic Bags from This Week

And Coles will follow suit on July 1.
Lauren Vadnjal and Sarah Ward
Published on June 18, 2018

Plastic shopping bags might seem to last forever, but Australian's reliance upon the pesky, flimsy carriers has an expiration date — and it's finally here. In a massive move for the industry — and a huge hug for the environment — the country's supermarkets are ditching single-use plastic bags from this week.

Last July, three of the country's biggest grocery chains announced that they'll be banning the bag: Woolworths, Coles and the New South Wales-based Harris Farm. Harris Farm stopping stocking bags at the start of the year, and now it's time for the big two to do the same. Coles will pull the plug on Sunday, July 1, while Woolies — which also includes Big W and BWS — will get in first and remove the bags from checkout from this Wednesday, June 20. The move will impact Woolworths and Coles locations around the country — bringing New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia into line with South Australia, ACT, the Northern Territory and Tasmania, where state-wide plastic bans are already in place.

So, without the bags, what are your options? Well, you'll still be able to get plastic bags at the checkout at both supermarkets fro 15 cents each. These ones are apparently thicker, more durable and are made from 80 percent recycled plastic — but, even though they're meant to be more reusable, it's hard to say if people will use them any differently to the way they use single-use bags now. Woolworths will also be offering another fold-up 99-cent bag option, as well as the regular, bulkier green bags. If you get your groceries delivered, you'll be able to choose a no-bag option.

Queensland will flat-out ban single-use plastic bags from July 1, and Victoria is set to do the same later this year. NSW is the only state that hasn't committed to banning them.

Getting rid the ever-present items everyone has too many of is the latest example of Aussie businesses putting the planet first. Bars around the country have banned plastic straws, Closed Loop has been trialling ways to recycle takeaway coffee cups, and reusable coffee cups have been gaining popularity all over the place — with some cafes offering discounts, and others banning disposable containers completely.

Published on June 18, 2018 by Lauren Vadnjal
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