Turns out Australians aren't quite ready to live a life without plastic bags just yet. In the wake of Woolworths removing single-use plastic bags entirely from its stores last week, the company has backflipped on that decision.
Woolies stores will be giving out 'reusable' plastic bags for free between now and Sunday July 8, as a means of easing the transition and getting customers into the habit of bringing their own bags.
From June 20, Woolworths, Big W, BWS, and a bunch of other stores will be self-banning plastic shopping bags in NSW. This includes online shopping, which will now carry additional fees. Here are the details.
Despite a Woolworths customer survey showing that 74.7 per cent of respondents supported the death of single-use plastic bags, it seems like shoppers aren't quite ready to put that philosophy into action. "Customers have told us that getting into the habit of bringing their own reusable bags has been a challenge," the Woolworths statement said.
"While some customers have forgotten their reusable bags altogether, many have done the right thing and brought their own only to end up one or two reusable bags short. 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 and greener way of shopping."
The bags being given out are usually sold for 15c each, a reusable plastic bag made of slightly thicker material including at least 80 per cent recycled plastic. These bags can be recycled at Woolies stores once you're done with them.
Woolworths has also expanded its range of reusable bags due to the plastic ban, with both an emergency foldable bag and their 'Bag For Good' green bag available for 99c each.
So if you're a Woolies shopper, you've got until next Sunday to get in the habit of bringing your own grocery bags - or else get used to paying extra to bag it up.