Woolworths & Coles Ban the Bag in Australia
Today we welcome the announcement that Woolworths and Coles will ban lightweight plastic bags in their stores nationally from July 2018. Woolworths currently provide 3.2 billion plastic bags through their supermarkets annually.
There are now only three States, NSW, Victoria and Western Australia, who have yet to ban lightweight plastic bags, it's imperative that those State Governments to act to ban the bag.
Removing plastic bags in Australia is a significant first step in reducing this countries disposable plastic use and reducing threats to wildlife. Over 3 million tonnes of plastic is used in Australia every year, with most disposable plastics either landfilled or littered. It is estimated that between 100,000 and 120,000 tonnes of disposable plastic is littered annually. That is equivalent to 2.4 kgs per person in Australia.
We do however think Woolworths and Coles should go beyond their plan to introduce thicker bags at a 15 cents charge and urge that they replace this with fully proven reusable bag so the whole community adapts and use only genuinely reusable bags.
We recommend that supermarkets and other retailers see this ban as the first step in a movement to reduce the use of single use, disposable plastics. A review into plastic packaging of fresh food should be instigated with the aim of removing or replacing all unnecessary packaging.