Some 12 Woolworths stores throughout the country, including Mullumbimby, will stop offering single-use plastic bags as of today.
Woolies will join a range of shops in Mullum, including competitor IGA, that have already stopped offering the polluting products.
Woolworths Mullumbimby Store Manager Wayne McInerney said, ‘Today marks a big day for us and the local community, as we take this early, but important step in partnership with our customers to help create a greener future for Australia’.
‘We know the removal of single-use plastic bags is a significant change for some of our customers, but we feel very strongly it is the right thing to do for the environment.
‘Our team has been working hard behind the scenes to accelerate the rollout of this plan so our local community can start making a positive impact on the environment as quickly as possible.
‘We have been talking to our customers daily since we first announced the changes for our store back in February. The initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve had some great suggestions from our customers and our teams on how best to remember to bring your reusable bags when shopping.
‘Some ideas include putting some reusable bags in the boot of your car, at the back of the door at home or leaving a post-it note on the fridge as a reminder,Mr McInerney said.’
Woolworths say customers who don’t bring their own bags will have access to a range of alternative shopping bag options in store, including thicker, reusable plastic bags at 15 cents and canvas bags at 99 cents.
They will also have the option to drop bags off in the REDcycle bin when finished with them. REDcycle then uses the material as the resource to produce a huge range of recycled-plastic products, from fitness circuits to sturdy outdoor furniture, bollards, signage and more.
Tasmania, South Australia, Canberra and the Northern Territory are already subject to state-imposed bans on single-use plastic bags.
Woolies supermarkets, BWS, Metro and petrol outlets will now phase them out in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia from June 20, 10 days earlier than originally planned.
And Woolworths say they will be ‘closely monitoring feedback from customers at Woolworths Mullumbimby’ to ensure any lessons learnt are reflected in the national roll out on June 20.’
Woolworths and rival Coles last July joined the push to rid Australia of disposable plastic bags, and set a deadline of June 30 for their stores.
Environment groups Planet Ark and the Boomerang Alliance have backed the bag bans.
‘Experiences in countries like the UK and Ireland have shown the introduction of small charges on plastic bags can end up reducing plastic bag usage by up to 85 per cent as shoppers embrace reusable alternatives, and we have every confidence this can happen in Australia too,’ Planet Ark chief executive Paul Klymenko said.
THE 12 WOOLIES STORES PHASING OUT PLASTIC BAGS FROM WEDNESDAY
* NSW – Marayong, Greenway Village, Dural, Mullumbimby
* VIC – Wyndham Vale, Taylors Lakes, Toorak
* QLD – Mossman, Noosa Civic
* WA – Singleton, South Fremantle, Cottesloe
– with AAP