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BWS ditches plastic bags

BWS ditches plastic bags

Woolworths has revealed BWS will join Dan Murphy’s and Cellarmasters in phasing out single-use plastic bags across Australia.

The move came as part of the supermarket giant’s announcement it will phase out single-use plastic bags at its checkouts, with a total ban in place by June 30, 2018.

Coles has quickly followed up with a statement that it will also phase out plastic bags, but has yet to specify whether the move will apply to its liquor stores.

South Australia, ACT, the Northern Territory and Tasmania have already implemented state-wide bans on single-use plastic bags, while there are plans in place for Queensland to do the same next year.

“We feel this is an issue we need to take a stand on,’’ Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said.

“We currently give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage. Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously.

“Whilst we know this is a major decision, we will work very closely with all of our store teams to ensure the transition for our customers is as simple as possible.”

Instead of single-use plastic bags, stores will now encourage customers to bring their own shopping bag, purchase woven bags at the store or charge 15c for a heavier-duty reusable plastic bag.

Total Environment Centre director Jeff Angel told the Sydney Morning Herald he was “a little surprised” by the Woolworths announcement.

“Woolworths has been one of the more oppositional stores [to a ban], so if they can announce such a good decision then clearly all of the previous objections are null and void,” he said.

Clean Up Australia’s managing director Terrie-Ann Johnson added: “This will have a huge impact … really, the only ones giving them out now at the supermarket level are Woolies and Coles.”

Pictured above: Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci, right, and Woolworths Stores director Michael James.


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