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Woolworths, Big W reveal huge change to Christmas shopping

Woolworths and Big W customers will notice some big changes to Christmas items available in both stores this year.

Parent company Woolworths Group has announced that it's set to ditch non-biodegradable glitter from its own brand Christmas products – including decorations, wrapping, cards and all the trimmings – in a bid to reduce plastic waste.

With families already preparing for the holiday, the retailer said it is now offering an extensive range of festive essentials that will be free of single-use, non-recyclable microplastics, which is in line with the company's commitment to reduce its impact on the environment.

Woolworths Christmas decorations and food on table; Girl standing in front of Big W Christmas tree and holding baubles in front of eyes
Retailers Big W and Woolworths announced they are going plastic glitter-free this Christmas in a bid to reduce plastic waste. Source: Supplied

Apart from this, the company added that both retailers will also only be selling bon bons with plastic-free prizes in order to have a smaller environmental impact during the forthcoming Yuletide season.

The battle to reduce microplastics

Standard glitter, which is made from microplastics, is incredibly harmful to sea life – prompting scientists to call for a total ban of the product in 2020 after the scientific community found evidence of its negative impact on life in rivers and lakes.

"We want to help create a better tomorrow, and this is a small but meaningful way we can help our customers deliver Christmas cheer without the impact glitter has on the environment," Liam Ward, Woolworths Group general manager of sustainability, transformation and delivery said.

"We know there's more we can do and we're working to reduce glitter across our entire range in Woolworths and Big W," he stated further. "We're also making changes to reduce plastic in its many other forms, with both Woolworths and Big W removing reusable plastic shopping bags from checkouts nationwide by the end of June next year."

Big W's Christmas range has already started landing in stores and online, while Woolies' general Christmas merchandise will roll out from early November.

Left: Two women standing in front of Christmas tree, one wearing costume reindeer antlers; Right: Two children opening in front of Christmas tree opening presents
Big W is introducing four new glitter-free decorating themes for the season. Source: Supplied

An estimated 29 tonnes of plastic has been removed from across Big W's Christmas products and packaging since 2019, according to Shane Carter, head of Big W Commercial – Home & Everyday.

"The decisions we make today can drive positive change and make a real difference for families. That's why we are excited to bring customers a Christmas range that not only looks amazing but reduces microplastics in our environment," Carter said.

The discount department store is introducing four new glitter-free decorating themes for the season – Island Beauty, Garden Tradition, Celestial Scandi and Fantastical Joy, with products starting from $1.

Removing glitter from Christmas products has become more common among retail chains over the years, with brands such as Aldi and Britain's Marks & Spencer abandoning glitter from its shelves and using biodegradable alternatives from 2019.

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