Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Woolworths SA stores to phase out 15c reusable plastic shopping bags

South Australia will be one of the first states to voluntarily phase out 15-cent reusable plastic shopping bags across Woolworths stores and online orders, following the retailer’s commitment to phase out the bags nationally. The change will also simultaneously take place in the Northern Territory.

Over the coming weeks, the supermarket will gradually run down stock of the reusable plastic shopping bags across SA and the NT, in a move that will see more than 916 tonnes of plastic removed from circulation annually.

“Eight in every ten Woolworths customers already bring their own bags when they shop,” and the retailer is continuing to encourage customers to bring their own bags to boost sustainability, rather than buying them in store. Woolworths’ paper bags made from at least 70 per cent recycled paper will remain available to those who need them.

Woolworths Assistant State General Manager for SA, Elisha Moore says: “We’re continuing to grow greener in South Australia as we phase out reusable plastic shopping bags from our stores and online orders over the next month.

“We’re proud to be the first major supermarket to commit to removing reusable plastic shopping bags nationwide by June next year and this change in South Australia is the beginning of an important shift to more sustainable grocery shopping across the country.

“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,” she said.

“South Australia has always been a leader in sustainability and has championed the move away from single use plastic. We hope our customers here will embrace this latest change with their usual eagerness to do good for the environment.”

Woolworths is helping customers to prepare for the upcoming change in SA, providing advanced notice and reminders via email, advertising and signs in store. Woolworths already offers customers helpful reminders to bring their own bags, including signs in supermarket car parks and the option to turn on a reminder message in the Woolworths app.

Following the gradual phase out of the bags in SA and NT this month, Woolworths will continue its transition away from reusable plastic shopping bags state-by-state, committing to removing the bags entirely from its network nationwide by end of June 2023. Stores in Western Australia have already removed these bags from sale in response to state legislation earlier this year.

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. All paper used is sourced responsibly and is certified by PEFC or FSC, to give shoppers confidence their purchase supports sustainable forest management.

Woolworths has committed to a multi-million-dollar partnership with one of its strategic bag suppliers, family-owned Adelaide manufacturer Detpak to increase local manufacturing capacity for paper bags.

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