Woolworths to scrap reusable plastic bags

·1-min read

Australian shoppers can expect another change at the checkout, as Woolworths prepares to dump all reusable plastic bags from its stores over the next year.

The grocery giant on Friday announced its permanent shift away from the bags, which cost shoppers 15 cents each.

Eight in 10 shoppers already bring their own bags, the chain says, but shoppers will still be able to buy paper or fabric bags in store.

Woolworths-owned retailer BIG W will scrap plastic bags by the end of June next year in favour of not yet announced reusable options.

The move will remove more than 9000 tonnes of plastic from circulation annually, Woolworths claims.

Reusable plastic bags have already been pulled from distribution at Woolworths in Western Australia, where a state government ban comes into effect at the end of this month.

The grocery giant will start the gradual phasing-out with stores in September this year in South Australia and the Northern Territory, before moving on to other parts of Australia.

The bags were introduced in 2018 to help customers adjust after single-use plastic bags were dumped.

"The reusable plastic bags have played their part and now it's time to do away with selling plastic shopping bags at our checkouts for good," Woolworths managing director Natalie Davis said.

"We know the change may be an adjustment for some customers and that's why we're phasing this change in over the coming year."

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