Australia – Both the Woolworths and Coles supermarket chains have announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags in large parts of Australia over the next 12 months.
Woolworths estimates that approximately 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags are used by its customers every year.
The no-plastic bag mission will affect the supermarket’s stores in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. More durable and reusable plastic bags will be made available at a cost of 15 cents, along with multi-use hessian bags, the company notes.
Other parts of Australia such as South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania have already implemented state-wide bans on single-use plastic shopping bags. Queensland intends to follow suit next year.
According to Woolworths’ group ceo Brad Banducci, the decision reflects the supermarket’s objective to ‘do the right thing’ for the environment in combination with customer inquiries about a substitute for single-use plastic bags.