Published: Fri, June 22, 2018
Science | By Joan Schultz

Aussie supermarket chain bans use of plastic bags nationwide

Woolworths is, from today, implementing their much-vaunted ban on all plastic shopping bags in a move that affects all the chain's stores across the nation. "We are proud to say that from now on, single-use plastic bags are gone from our stores, for good", Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said in a statement.

"While Coles and Woolworths have been trying to get the message across, there will still be lots of shoppers turning up unprepared and shocked that they'll need to purchase one or more bags to carry their groceries home".

Woolies has provided more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year to shoppers, but shoppers will now have to bring their own re-usable bags or buy them instore.

Queensland and Western Australia will enforce the bag bans from July 1, joining South Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory.

Although NSW will not have a ban, Coles and Woolworths have undertaken to phase out single-use plastic bags nationally.

"This move will help reduce the impact of plastics on the marine environment", he said.

Both supermarkets have also committed to reducing the amount of cling wrap used on fresh products moving forward, which includes fresh fruit and vegetables.

Retail employees union SDA has launched its "Don't Bag Retail Staff" campaign to coincide with the ban.

"This will be a change for retail staff, but they should always follow safe work practices and report any abusive or violent behaviour from customers about the changes to their supervisor", Mr Dwyer said.

Speaking to Channel 7's Sunrise to mark the start of the supermarket's plastic bag ban on Wednesday, Mr Banducci was asked to address new research that suggested 16 per cent of shoppers were still scamming self-service check-outs, either by scanning items incorrectly or stealing outright.

"Retail workers should not have to bear the brunt of any abusive behaviour, just for following the new rules".

What can I use instead to line my bins?

What do I use to pack my supermarket shopping in?

Single-use plastic bags are slowly being phased out across the world.

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