Local News

Woolworths backflip on their move away from plastic bags

Customer complaints have worn down the supermarket giant.

By Kate Wagner

Woolworths has done a 180 on their strict "no plastic bag" policy just a week after implementing it in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

For the next 10 days, the fresh food people will hand out extra reusable bags for free at the check-out counter if a customer has forgotten to bring their own or hasn't brought enough.

Managing Director Claire Peters explained some customers are struggling with the new, eco-friendly way of life.

"While some customers have forgotten their reusable bags altogether, many have done the right thing and brought their own only to end up one or two reusable bags short," she told news.com.au.

"That's why from now until Sunday, July 8, if customers forget their reusable bags, we'll have complimentary reusable bags available for their shopping at Woolworths.

"This will not only help support customers as they work to form new habits, but also ensure they'll have reusable bags on hand when they next choose to shop with us."

Before implementing the nationwide ban, Woolworths conducted a poll about the single-use plastic bag ban, and almost 75 per cent supported the move to reusable bags.

Why should plastic bags be banned?

Here some quick facts you can't stick in a bag under the sink:

  • 200,000 plastic bags are dumped in landfill every hour and only 3% are recycled.

  • Plastic bags are used on average for 12-minutes but can take up to 1000 years to decompose.

According to the Ocean Conservancy, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year.

If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is. Visualise an entire garbage truck being emptied into the ocean every minute, that's what we're dealing with at the moment.