Plastic devotees, rejoice! Everyone else, be bewildered at the people for whom the idea of bringing a reusable bag is just too hard a concept to grasp. Coles has decided to continue giving out its 15c plastic 'Better Bags' for free indefinitely, as people are apparently still struggling with the idea of a plastic-free life.
After pledging to phase out plastic bags from July 1, Australia's big supermarket chains seem to be having trouble sticking to that promise. After a rocky few weeks, Coles has now decided to extend its free plastic bag offer indefinitely as an "interim measure" to help the transition.
"We will continue to listen to our customers and our team members on an ongoing basis to assess when customers have become accustomed to bringing their own bags, and will provide them with as much notice as possible," a Coles spokesperson told the ABC. "Many customers bringing bags from home are still finding themselves short a bag or two so we are offering complimentary reusable Better Bags to help them complete their shopping."
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.
The Better Bags are 'reusable' bags made from thicker plastic than the phased-out one-use plastic bags, though critics have pointed out that the amount of plastic in these bags is still a problem for the environment, especially if they are being given out for free in any volume.
The extension of the free bags seems an odd move to aid a transition, seeing as customers will have no reason to bring their own bags for as long as free plastic bags are still easily available at the counter. How hard is it to pay 15c for an extra bag or two anyway?