Woolies stores in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia stopped providing free single-use plastic bags last week and the offer of the free reusable bags – which would normally cost 15 cents – will only apply in those states and until July 8.
Getting into the habit of bringing along reusable bags had been a challenge for some shoppers, Woolworths managing director Claire Peters said on Friday.
“We’ve listened to these customers and heard they just want a little extra help from us to get through the transition to a more sustainable way of shopping.”
Woolworths said the majority of customers were bringing their own reusable bags but some have been caught short by underestimating how many bags they require.
Many Woolworths customers took to social media to back the supermarket giant, suggesting people have had more than enough notice about the ban. One Facebook follower applauded Woolies for its environmental stand, but pushed for more to be done about packaging.
“We know this is an important issue,” Woolworths responded. “We’re reducing the use of plastic on fruit and vegetables. So far we’ve removed plastic wrap from kale, English spinach, organic spring onions and replaced the plastic tray used for sweet potatoes with a recycled cardboard tray.
“We are working hard to reduce plastic on more than 80 fruit and vegetable products. In the coming months you will notice less plastic on herbs, mushrooms and tomatoes! We know there is a lot more plastic to remove and this is just the start,” Woolworths posted.