Friday, 21 July, 2017

Woolworths and Coles will ban plastic bags from their supermarkets

Shoppers will instead be offered reusable bags ranging from 15 cents to $2 although Big W may provide reusable bags Shoppers will instead be offered reusable bags ranging from 15 cents to $2 although Big W may provide reusable bags at no extra cost. Dallas Kilponen
Laurie Berry | 14 July, 2017, 21:06

Coles quickly followed Woolworths Group's suit and announced on Friday it too would stop supplying single-use plastic bags.

State-based bans on single-use plastic bags have seen a reduction in waste.

"Gladys Berejiklian must stand up today and announce a statewide ban on plastic bags - if she doesn't I will under a Foley Labor Government".

"We now give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage", Mr Banducci said.

The decision will affect stores in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Instead customers would be offered a range of reusable plastic bags to buy, except at Big W where customers may be given free reusable bags.

Coles said it will bring Coles' stores in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and WA into line with Tasmania, SA, the Northern Territory and the ACT, where Coles complies with local bans.

It is a matter of pride for regular Aldi customers to drive around with a boot full of reusable shopping bags.

Coles made its announcement later on Friday, stating it would phase out single-use bags over 12 months.

We've been looking at the feedback we get back from our customers as well as the impact on the environment, and we think it's an incredibly important thing to do.

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Woolworths and Coles have joined the national push to rid Australia of free disposable plastic bags within the next year.

Upon hearing that Coles had announced its own ban, he said there were "now no obstacles for all states to announce a ban on the checkout bag at all stores when they meet on July 28".

Lobby groups have been campaigning for decades to "ban the bag".

Ms Johnson said supermarkets were most likely pre-empting an official ban on plastic bags in the remaining states and the decision is unlikely to cost them any money. "Really, the only ones giving them out now at the supermarket level are Woolies and Coles".

The two retail giants operate supermarkets, alcohol retailers, petrol stations and department stores across the country and account for nearly 70 percent of the groceries market in Australia.

A petition being circulated online has been signed by more than 160,000 people.

"I've been [doing research] in Sydney harbour for a number of weeks and found only one plastic bag", Dr Mark Browne, a Senior Research Associate in Ecotoxicology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney told Asian Correspondent on Friday.

Greenpeace said 30 per cent of the world's turtles and 90 per cent of the world's seabird species have ingested plastic debris.

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