Woolies and Big W will phase out reusable plastic shopping bags

By this time next year, you won’t be able to buy a reusable plastic shopping bag at Woolworths or Big W.

The Woolworths Group estimates that this will reduce the circulation of more than 9,000 tonnes of plastic bags each year.

The supermarket giant says eight out of 10 customers already bring their own bags when shopping – but will that mean a smooth transition for shoppers?

What bags are we talking about?

Bags will be phased out, according to the Woolworths Group. (Supplied: Woolworths Group)

The two types of thick reusable plastic bags that the Woolworths Group sells for 15 cents and 45 cents.

They were reintroduced in 2018 after the supermarket phased out single-use plastic bags.

When is this happening?

Over the next year, but when exactly will depend on what state you’re in — and how many bags your local has in stock.

“We know change can be an adjustment for some customers and that is why we are introducing this change gradually over the coming year,” said Natalie Davis, Managing Director of Woolworths Supermarkets.

Big W and Woolworths will gradually start reducing bag stock before they are completely cut.

Woolworths Group says this will be completed by June next year.

What if I forget a bag?

Paper bags will still be available for 20 cents.

“But at the end of the day, we want to sell fewer bags,” Ms Davis said.

Woolworths paper bags are made from 70% recycled paper, are designed to carry up to 6 kilograms and are meant to be reused.

A person holds a Woolworths branded brown paper shopping bag while walking through the fresh produce section.
Those brown paper bags will be there if you forget your bags – but you’ll have to pay 20 cents for the privilege. (Supplied: Woolworths Group)

And the bags for my vegetables?

Those thin plastic bags we all know will always be available in the produce section.

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