Coles has capitulated to a barrage of criticism and backflipped once more on free plastic bags.
A day after coming under fire from green groups and consumers for extending indefinitely its giveaway of thick, reusable plastic bags to help shoppers switch away from single-use plastic bags, the supermarket giant says the freebies will stop on August 29.
Managing director John Durkan says the ban on single-use bags had been a "big and difficult" change.
While customers had been growing more accustomed to reusable bags, many were finding themselves one or two short at the register.
"That's why we are extending our complimentary bag offer until Wednesday 29 August for our customers in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, and Western Australia," he wrote in a message to 115,000 staff on Thursday.
"I appreciate this transition phase is taking longer than anticipated but it is absolutely the right thing to do by our customers."
Environmental groups, including Greenpeace, and like-minded shoppers had heaped criticism on Coles for going back on its original plan to temporarily provide free reusable bags.
When Coles originally announced its ban on single-use plastic bags it said it would provide reusable bags for free until July 8.
It extended the giveaway until August 1, but once that date rolled along the supermarket walked away from it and said the freebies would continue.
Greenpeace spokeswoman Zoe Deans cautiously welcomed Coles' latest change of heart.
"It sounds like initially they paid too much attention to the vocal minority and I think the sheer scale of the outrage yesterday and this morning has shown them what Australians actually think," she told AAP.
"It's confusing and frustrating for customers that they have been flip-flopping on this issue and we really want to see them make a solid commitment to actually doing what they said they would do and ban the bags for good."
Some customers took to social media to thank Coles for changing its mind.
"Power to those who spoke out against it, we were heard," Chela tweeted.
The host of the ABC's War on Waste Craig Reucassel said he was glad the free bag "fiasco" was over.
"It is August 29th, coincidentally the next date that I would shop there," he tweeted.
Simon Bell, a professor of marketing at the University of Melbourne, said the flip-flopping on plastic bags by Coles demonstrated inconsistency and unreliability.
However he expects the damage to the Coles brand to be short-lived.
"The flip-flopping unfortunately is symptomatic of who's shouting the loudest on any one day, and that's not a great way to build brands or adhere to a vision," Prof Bell told AAP.
"The re-backflip makes sense because they can't on the one hand talk about ethical and responsible supplier and sourcing relationships and then on the other perpetuate the poisoning of the environment given what we now know about how damaging plastic is for the environment."