Coles and Woolworths have announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months.
Woolworths’ plan will cover all stores across the Woolworths Group nationwide – including Woolworths Supermarkets and Metro stores, BIG W, BWS and Online. Dan Murphy’s and Cellarmasters are already single-use plastic bag free.
The phased approach will begin shortly with the expectation it will be fully in place across the entire Woolworths Group Australian network by at least 30 June 2018.
“We currently 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. Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” said Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci.
“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.”
Last week, Coles followed with the same announcement shortly after, saying it would remove plastic bags across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA to join other states that have already legislated their removal.
“We’ve been working towards this announcement for some time now as part of our ongoing program to improve environmental outcomes throughout our business,” said Coles chief customer officer Simon McDowell.
New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia are among the states that have yet to place a statewide ban on recycling – and will align with stores in states and territories where this is already legislated. South Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania are already single-use lightweight plastic shopping bag free, with Queensland also legislated to join mid next year.