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Woolworths switches to locally made paper bags

Supermarket chain Woolworths now offers locally made paper bags as it on-shores manufacturing in support of local industry.

The bag, made from 70-per-cent recycled paper, can carry up to 6kg of groceries. All paper used in the bag is sourced responsibly and is certified by PEFC to give customers confidence that their purchase supports sustainable forest management.

Since Woolworths phased out single-use plastic bags in June 2018, more than 9 billion bags have been taken out of circulation. With customers now bringing their own bags, around 85 per cent of transactions do not include the purchase of any carry bag.

Woolworths Supermarkets MD, Natalie Davis, said that while almost all customers bring their own reusable bags, there are still unplanned shopping trips that present a need for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags.

“Last year, we introduced the option of a paper bag, which can be recycled at home, and the feedback from customers has been positive.”

Woolworths first launched its paper shopping bags in June 2020, in response to customer demand for a paper carry bag option.

The supermarket worked with family-owned Australian supplier Detpak to plan and grow local capacity since early 2020 and produce paper bags at scale in Australia, supporting a transition to a 100 per cent Australian made line nationally. The transition will create around 25 new Australian jobs and contribute to growing Australia’s local production capacity across industries.

“This project is significant in its support of employment of Australians, but also its extension of Australian manufacturing,” said Alf Ianniello, CEO of Detpak, part of the Detmold Group.

As part of localising the manufacture of these bags, we have commissioned additional machines, doubling our domestic carry bag production capacity,” he said.

The Australian-made paper bags are currently in more than 400 Woolworths stores across Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. They will be available in all states by the end of the year.

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