Three words on new Woolworths bags infuriate shoppers

Just days after Woolworths offered another bag option for their customers, people have expressed how they’re upset the supermarket has not chosen an Australian supplier.

On Wednesday, Woolworths announced customers would now be able to purchase a recyclable paper bag at the checkout for 20 cents, instead of buying the supermarket’s reusable bags or bringing their own.

Woolworths also said there were plans to make them available for online shoppers through delivery orders and pick up orders.

Picture of a customer holding a new paper bag, which Woolworths launched this week.
Woolworths announced its new reusable paper bags this week. Source: Woolworths

However, since the bags have become available, some shoppers have taken offence to three words on the bag - ‘Made in China’, despite liking the concept of the paper bags.

“I like the concept of your paper bags Woolies, but supporting an Australian manufacturer/supplier would have actually been a fantastic statement,” one customer wrote.

“Instead, you bought them out of China.”

The shopper said they would not be using them “on principle” and instead would be using their own bags.

“ say you are supporting Australian businesses.....why oh why then are your new paper bags made in China????” another person questioned.

“We have a world class paper manufacturing facility in Gippsland, so how about practising what you preach and buy Australian products yourself!”

However, on various posts, some people hit back at those voicing their concerns, adding they don’t have a problem with the bags being made in China.

“They are cheap, high quality, high quantity and always available. Australian made products are over priced and crap,” one person said.

A Picture a customer uploaded to the Woolworths. Facebook page of the new paper bags, which state they are "made in China"
Customers were upset to see the bags were made in China and some expressed their disappointmentt on social media. Source: Facebook

Another person queried a person on another Facebook post about the bags if they would be getting rid of their phone, other electronic devices and clothing made overseas.

The sentiment expressed by people online seems to be in favour of supporting Australian Made products to keep jobs here.

Some people argued if the bags were made in Australia the price of them would be much more than the 20 cents that they are.

Woolworths responded to several of the concerned customers, assuring them the supermarket has “every intention of sourcing paper bags in Australia as soon as we can”.

“We’re currently unable to manufacture paper bags at the scale we need here in Australia, but we’re working hard with local manufacturers to find a solution,” Woolworths said on Facebook, promising shoppers to update them on their progress.

A Woolworths spokesperson also affirmed this to Yahoo News Australia in a statement.

“We’ve been exploring options to source paper bags locally at the scale we need,” the Woolworths spokesperson said.

“We'll continue to work with local manufacturers to see if we can build the capability to produce paper bags locally.”

In recent weeks there has been a growing concern among customers about supporting Australian Made products.

In April an online petition was set up calling for Woolworths, Coles and IGA to introduce an aisle dedicated to Australian products to support local businesses at a time when the agricultural industry has been brought to its knees by prolonged drought, and many businesses are feeling the strain due to coronavirus restrictions.

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