Plastic Bag Ban Off To A Shaky Start

13:58' 27-06-2018
Woolworths introduced its ban of single-use plastic bags in all stores two weeks ago. Since then, shoppers have had to bring along their own re-usable bags, or buy them at the retailers supermarkets, BWS, Metro and petrol outlets.

    Photo: fourcowfarm.com

    Green groups have been calling for such a ban for years. Similar bans in Britain and Ireland have helped reduce plastic bag usage by up to 85%.

    Woolworths and Coles joined a push to rid Australia of disposable plastic bags last July, and set a deadline of 30 June 2018 for their stores to stop offering them. Woolworths decided to bring the deadline forward to 20 June.

    However, although the change has mostly gone ahead smoothly, there has been some criticism from shoppers, expressing their displeasure on social media.

    Referring to the 15 cent cost of bags in-store, one shopper called it “nothing more than a cash grab”. Others have criticised the supermarket for using plastic bags or wrapping for many of its fruit and vegetable products.

    Many have praised the move, accusing the critics of ignoring the long warning period shoppers were given before the ban was implemented.

    Regarding those products that are still wrapped in plastic, Woolworths explained on Facebook that this was done to keep the products fresh, or to package it in bulk. Woolworths claims it has reduced the amount of plastic used in its fresh produce department by 140 tonnes in the past year.

    Shoppers are advised to keep reusable bags in their car to be available for shopping, to avoid being caught out.

    Victoria plans to eliminate all plastic bags from next year.

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