This article first appeared on Convenience & Impulse Retailing, authored by Deborah Jackson
Woolworths stores in Queensland and the ACT have begun the voluntary phase out of 15c reusable plastic shopping bags.
Over the coming weeks, the supermarket will gradually run down stock of the 15c plastic bags, in a move that will see more than 1,500 tonnes of plastic removed from circulation annually across QLD.
The supermarket giant has already phased these bags out in South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia last year.
Eight in every 10 Woolworths customers already brings their own bags when they shop, and the retailer is continuing to encourage customers to do so, in a bid to boost sustainability.
Woolworths’ paper bags and other reusable bags will remain available to those who need them.
Woolworths was the first major national supermarket to remove single-use plastic bags from stores in 2018, introducing the 15-cent reusable plastic shopping bag to help customers adjust to the change.
Woolworths State General Manager for Queensland, Danny Baldwin, is proud to see Woolworths continuing to grow greener in the state.
“Bringing your own bags is the very best outcome for the environment, and we encourage our customers to keep up the great work. Paper bags will continue to be available for those who forget to bring their own, but ultimately we want to sell less bags altogether.
“We know it may be an adjustment for some customers and we thank them in advance for their support as we all work together to create a better tomorrow.”
Woolworths is helping customers to prepare for the upcoming change in Queensland, providing advanced notice and reminders via email and signs in-store.
Following the gradual phase out of this bag in QLD and ACT stores, Woolworths will continue its transition away from the 15-cent reusable plastic shopping bags, committing to remove the bags entirely from all stores nationwide by the end of June this year. In QLD, the same bags will be removed as an option for online orders later this year, with paper bags becoming the new default option.
The paper shopping bag that will remain available to customers is designed to be reused, can carry up to 6kg of groceries and can be easily recycled at home through kerbside recycling. The paper bags are made from at least 70 per cent recycled paper and sourced responsibly with FSC or PEFC certifications to support sustainable forest management.