Australian Supermarkets Put the Environment First, Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags

Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm will all stop providing bags from 2018.
Sarah Ward
Published on July 15, 2017

Plastic shopping bags might seem to last forever, but Australian's reliance upon the pesky, flimsy carriers has an expiration date. 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 2018.

Three grocery chains have announced that they'll be banning the bag: Woolworths, Coles and the New South Wales-based Harris Farm. The big two will phase out plastic bags over the next 12 months, with Woolies' plans also including Big W and BWS, while Harris Farm will remove them from checkouts by January 1, 2018.

Rather than offer shoppers free carriers, the supermarkets will sell thicker, reusable options for 15 cents per bag. 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. Over at Harris Farm, their range will also include single-use paper bags, as well as the free cardboard boxes they've been providing to customers for the past decade.

Getting rid the ever-present items everyone has too many of is just the latest example of Aussie businesses putting the planet first, rather than prioritising convenience, money or simply maintaining the environmentally unfriendly status quo. Brisbane's Crowbar banned plastic straws last year, 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.

Via the ABC.

Published on July 15, 2017 by Sarah Ward
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