Woolworths introduces subtle new change to paper bags

Woolworths has now introduced new paper bags with a subtle change to all states and territories with the exception of two.

The supermarket giant first launched its paper bags in stores in 2020, but many customers were outraged they were made in China and Vietnam rather than Australia.

Responding to the backlash, Woolworths announced in December it was partnering with South Australian manufacturer Detpak to make the bags locally.

A Woolworths shopper carries a paper bag.
The new paper bags have an Australian made logo. Source: Woolworths

In April, the bags were rolled out in stores in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Woolworths confirmed they were now in every state and territory except for NSW and Queensland, which are slated for the rollout later this year.

"The locally made bags are already in our stores across Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australian and Northern Territory," a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.

"We’ve heard great feedback from customers who’ve seen the Australian made logo on the new bags and are pleased to be supporting local manufacturing and jobs.

"Our paper bags are made from 70 per cent recycled paper and are a popular option for customers who want a bag that can be easily recycled at home."

Customer praises supermarket after backlash

With Woolworths progressively rolling out the new bags, one customer praised the supermarket after she noticed the subtle change in her local store recently.

"Thanks Woolies – this made my day!" the customer wrote.

"I contacted you last year about your paper bags being made in Vietnam and China, asking you to please find an Aussie manufacturer. Not sure when you pulled the switch but this is awesome."

A photo taken by a Woolworths customer showing the new manufacturing country of the paper bag and an old bag that is
A customer was delighted the paper bags made in Vietnam at her local store had been replaced with locally made ones. Source: Facebook

The customer added the China and Vietnam-made bags had still been available at her local store up until last week.

Woolworths first released the paper bags in June last year as a step towards becoming a more sustainable supermarket after banning single-use plastic bags. The paper bags cost 20 cents each.

Shoppers furious bags not Australian-made

However, disgruntled shoppers were outraged they were not Australian-made.

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

“Instead, you bought them out of China.”

A Woolworths shop front is pictured.
Woolworths has introduced paper bags made in Australia. Source: Getty Images

The products were made in Vietnam in China at the time of the launch as production capacity to meet the needs in Australia didn't exist locally.

In April, Woolworths said it had been working with family-owned Detpak since early 2020 to produce the Australian-made bags.

“As paper bags are now a permanent part of our range, we’re working to support new Australian jobs in partnership with local manufacturer Detpak," Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director Natalie Davis said.

“Our proudly Australian made bags are the result of Detpak’s hard work to build the local capacity needed to supply hundreds of our stores across the country."

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