Woolworths ceases providing single-use plastic bags

20 June 2018

Woolworths ceases providing single-use plastic bags

Supermarket giant Woolworths stopped providing single-use plastic bags to customers on Wednesday, ahead of a statewide ban in Queensland.

From 1 July retailers in Queensland will be prohibited from supplying lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness. This follows similar laws in the ACT, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, while Victoria and Western Australia will also introduce bans this year.

New South Wales does not intend to introduce its own ban, but both Woolworths and Coles are ceasing supply of the bags nationwide. Coles will stop providing the bags to customers nationally on 1 July, in line with the Queensland legislation.

The ban will not affect garbage bags, bin liners, bags for fruit and vegetables, nappy bags, animal waste bags, or department store plastic bags.

National Retailers Association CEO Dominique Lamb said the response to the change was “quite positive”.

“[Retailers are] really keen to get this right, and to make sure they don’t find themselves captured,” Ms Lamb said.

Customers will be able to purchaser thicker reusable plastic bags at supermarket chains for 15 cents, as well as other foldable bags and freezer bags.

Retailers in Queensland face fines of $6,300 for supplying single-use bags.

Shoppers can continue to use plastic bags they already have, or recycle them using the bins situated in some stores.