Woolworths will phase out its 15-cent plastic shopping bags in Western Australia over the next month – the first major supermarket to do so ahead of new state legislation banning a variety of plastic shopping bags from July this year.
Stores across the state will gradually run down stock of the supermarket’s reusable plastic bags, with its Australian-made paper shopping bags to become the entry option for those customers who haven’t brought their own bags to the store, as well as online orders.
Woolworths was the first national supermarket to remove single use plastic shopping bags in 2018, introducing its 15-cent reusable plastic shopping bags, followed by the addition of a paper shopping bag to its range in 2020.
Today, more than 80 per cent of Woolworths customers in WA bring their own bags to shop, representing a significant change in customer habits in recent years.
Karl Weber, Woolworths State General Manager for WA, said: “Over the next month, we’ll be gradually phasing out plastic shopping bags from our stores and online orders across WA, as we move to support the WA Government’s upcoming plastic bag ban.
“This change will see more than 30 million plastic bags removed from circulation in WA every year – which is a big win for the health of our oceans and waterways.
“While our paper bags will continue to be available, the most sustainable bag you can use is the reusable one you bring from home. The vast majority of our customers already bring their own reusable bags to shop, which is the very best outcome for the environment, and we encourage customers to keep up the great work.
“We know the change brought about by this new WA legislation may be an adjustment for some customers and we thank them in advance for their support as we all work together to grow greener.”
Reece Whitby, Minister for Environment said: “Western Australia has a strong track record on reducing single-use plastics in the environment, and was named the top jurisdiction in the country two years in a row by WWF Australia, for the work that is being done.
“The WA community has shown overwhelming support for this – and I would like to thank everyone, including Woolworths, who have embraced these important changes.”
Woolworths will be communicating the change to Western Australian customers through in-store signage and radio, catalogue, customer emails and print advertising to raise awareness of the change and encourage them to bring their own reusable bag to create the most benefit for the environment.
While Woolworths encourages shoppers to bring their own reusable bags, customers can choose from three carry bag options in store including its 20-cent Australian-made paper bag which uses 70 per cent recycled paper, Woolworths’ Bag for Good and foldable fabric bags.
Woolworths has invested in a multi-million dollar partnership with family-owned Australian manufacturer Detpak to increase local paper bag manufacturing capacity. Together, they have worked to further increase local production of paper bags to provide the additional volume required by the removal of plastic shopping bags in Western Australia.
The partnership represents a significant boost in local manufacturing, creating a total of 25 new Australian jobs and contributing to broader efforts to grow Australia’s local production capacity across industries.
The paper bag is designed to be reused and can carry up to 6 kilograms of groceries. All paper used is sourced responsibly and is certified by PEFC, to give customers confidence their purchase supports sustainable forest management.
For more information: visit: www.woolworthsgroup.com.au