Woolworths to stop offering single-use plastic bags in its supermarkets

Woolworths To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags From Next Year

Woolworths To Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags From Next Year

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.

Greenpeace's "Ban the Bag" campaign attracted nearly 100,000 signatures in its effort to cut down on the estimated 50 million plastic bags that end up in Australian waterways each year.

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

The move will also extend to Big W and BWS stores, which are owned by the Woolworths Group, and is expected to be in place by July 2018.

SUPERMARKET giant Woolworths will phase out single-use plastic bags from its Australian supermarkets within a year in a move created to cut costs and help the environment.

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.

South Australian, Northern Territory and Tasmanian governments have already implemented state-wide plastic bag bans, and a ban in Queensland will come into effect next year.

The company said its Dan Murphy's and Cellarmasters stores have already stopped giving out single-use plastic bags.

"We think it's an incredibly important thing to do", Brad Banducci, Woolworth Group CEO, says.

More than half the turtles around the world and two-thirds of some bird species found on Australia's east cost have ingested plastics, according to a CSIRO research scientist.

"The announcement follows several months of consultation with a number of non-government organisations and environmental groups on a plan to transition away from single-use bags".

German discount chain Aldi has charged customers 15 cents per bag since arriving in Australia in 2001.

The Australian Retailers Association voluntarily introduced a Plastic Shopping Bag Code of Practice between 2003 and 2005 which encouraged the use of "green bags" and was reported to have reduced plastic bag usage by 45 percent.

The supermarket reportedly doles out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags each year, many of which remain stored in our houses like Russian nesting dolls until the next spring clean.

"Our customers can also expect further commitments in reducing plastic use in all parts of our supply chain, especially in fruit and vegetables. we feel this is an issue we need to take a stand on". Some Western Australian councils have indicated they could ban single-use bags, Greenpeace said.

"It's a very poor reflection on the politicians of the states in NSW and Victoria and WA that Woolworths have basically gone ahead and done it themselves".

He congratulated the supermarkets on their announcements.

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