“We’re really disappointed by the decision from Coles Supermarkets,” said Angus Harris, co-CEO of Harris Farm Markets.
“We now renew our call to Gladys Berejiklian and the state Government to enforce a ban of single use plastic bags immediately. We also call on the board of Coles to reconsider this decision for the sake of our planet.”
Harris has also urged Woolworths not to follow suit.
“Also, a public message to Brad Banducci and the team at Woolworths – please don’t follow suit. Giving away reusable plastic bags is an environmental disaster, this just increases the amount of plastic that will now make its way into our waterways. Removing plastic bags from our checkout registers at the beginning of the year was not easy and we are really grateful for all the hard work and support from our customers and our team,” he said in a statement.
Harris Farm Markets has gotten rid of all plastic bags from their stores in January this year and instead has began using reusable paper bags and cardboard boxes for customers to use – free of charge. The supermarket said it has impacted the plastic issue by reducing an estimate of around 15 million single use plastic bags saved from landfills and waterways. The family-owned supermarket has also previously partnered with Clean Up Australia by providing alternative carry bag options at the checkout.
“Clean Up shares shopper disappointment and dismay at this turnaround by Coles. Working with their teams in the lead up to the campaign to replace single use bags, we were inspired by and supported Coles’ nationwide desire to replace single use plastics. Today’s announcement that the spotted plastic bag will continue to be a free feature at the checkout is a breach of faith. We ask all shoppers to let Coles know this is not what shoppers want by saying NO to plastic at the checkout,” said Clean Up Australia managing director Terrie-Ann Johnson.