Woolworths Phases Out Plastic Bags Nationwide, Ban at Kenmore and Other Queensland Stores Starts 2018

Photo credit: www.woolworths.com.au

This is a major step for the supermarket chain, which currently gives out over 3.2 billion plastic bags a year.

Woolworths Group will be phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags at all its stores in the country in the next 12 months. Kenmore and other Queensland Woolworths stores will start the ban next year.

This means that plastic bags will be phased out at Woolworths stores in NSW, Victoria and WA. Woolworths is already implementing the ban at stores in South Australia, Tasmania and ACT, which have laws banning plastic bags statewide.

The state government of Queensland has legislated a ban on plastic bags and this will take effect on 1 July 2018. NSW, Victoria and WA are yet to legislate a similar ban.

The ban will cover all Woolworths supermarkets, Big W and BWS. The plastic bag ban is already in place for Cellarmasters and Dan Murphy’s.

Local Resources

Customers can either bring their own bag or pay 15 cents for a reusable bag.

Woolworths Kenmore, along with other Queensland Woolworths stores will enforce the ban starting July 2018 (Photo credit: Google Streetview)

In a statement, the supermarket giant’s CEO Brad Banducci expressed the company’s commitment to listing to its customers and doing the right thing for the environment. “We feel this is an issue we need to take a stand on,” Mr 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.

“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.”

Queensland Government Welcomes Move

The Queensland government has welcomed the move by the supermarket chain and praised the company for showing national leadership.

Environment Minister Steven Miles described the move as a major step forward in the war against waste.

“As the biggest retailer in the sector, this shows they are listening to customers and demonstrates that they take their environmental and community responsibilities seriously,” Mr Miles said.

The minister believes that this is the perfect time for consumers to start thinking about how they can change their behaviour and lessen reliance on plastic bags.

“We need Queenslanders to get ready for the ban, which comes into effect from 1 July 2018.

“We will continue education and awareness in lead up to 1 July 2018 including in partnership with the National Retail Association who are running workshops for retailers.”