Woolworths, Coles, Big W, BWS, Dan Murphy’s ban plastic bags in Australia

AUSTRALIAN supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles have confirmed they will stop using lightweight plastic shopping bags across the country, with both companies set to phase them out over the next 12 months.

The ban will also extend to all Big W and liquor chain BWS stores, which are owned by the Woolworths Group. Dan Murphy’s and Cellarmasters stores have already scrapped the bags.

The major move will bring NSW, Victoria and WA in line with South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, which have already enforced statewide bans on plastic bags. A similar ban will come into effect in Queensland next July.


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Customers will instead be forced to either pay 15 cents for a heavier-duty reusable bag or bring their own.

Woolworths says the supermarket giant hands out more than 3.2 billion single-use plastic bags every year.

“As a group, we are committed to listening to our customers and also doing the right thing for the environment, and we feel this is an issue we need to take a stand on,” Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said.

“Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously.

“Our customers can also expect further commitments in reducing plastic use in all parts of our supply chain, especially in fruit and vegetables.

“Whilst we know this is a major decision, we will work very closely with all of our store teams to ensure the transition for our customers is as simple as possible.

“Our customers expect responsible retailing and they can be assured that this is just the start of further commitments by Woolworths in this space.

“Our team continues to work hard to minimise our impact on the environment through the minimisation of food waste, ethical and sustainable sourcing, and reduction in energy use.”

The announcement from Woolworths was followed by a near-identical announcement from Coles several hours later.

Both companies say they will start phasing out the single-use plastic bags shortly, with the bags tipped to be completely gone by this time next year.

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seriously i can see where their coming from but think about it use them as rubbish bags single reuse i know but arnt all garbage bags? and also why 15c when you probably make them for less then that and upscale the price so you get a bigger profit margin take a look at that both of you coles and woolworths

It is not practical to have loose fruit and veg. Having it handled by checkout people and stuck on dirty weighing machines and filthy carry baskets. Yuk. What about biodegradable/recyclable bags / or paper bags for that ? What about paper bags for groceries instead of plastic? There are plenty of other solutions to plastic for those who do not carry reusable bags with them wherever they go, or to paying through the nose for still using plastic bags. Not happy about having nothing at all but reusable bags as an option or having to pay through the nose. It is just not practical for those who shop on the run. It is just plain dumb when there are environment friendly alternatives. And aside from all this what exactly are we going to do about rubbish bags? I reuse shopping bags for this, now will have to buy bags for it. ?????? Problem is still not solved????????. Can’t have reusable rubbish bags! Only solution is biodegradable bags or some other ingenious invention. Like I said there needs to be viable alternatives, just taking stuff away or charging a fee doesn’t solve anything.

Not happy Jan. There are viable alternatives like biodegradable/recyclable bags/paper bags for both fruit and veg and groceries. I don’t want my fruit and veg handled by grimy check out people and put on grimy weighing machines and in grimy carry bags! Yuk. And paying through the nose should not be necessary and is a money grab excuse by the supermarkets. We should not be expected to be snails and carry around loads of bags with us just in case we need to go shopping when there are viable alternatives. Reusable bags should just be one of the options not the only option. And reusable bags are not Biodegradable anyway so eventually you will have problems with loads of them clogging up the environment. The only way is recyclable /biodegradable options everything is a false economy.
And what about rubbish bags you can’t use reusable rubbish bags! There has to be biodegradable alternatives for that?????? Hmmmmm??????

I hope they are going to stop wrapping fruit and veggies in plastic too.