Wednesday, 20 June 2018: Supermarket shopping is set to become greener as Woolworths removes its single-use plastic bags nationally from today. 


With the wheels of this change set in motion in July last year, Woolworths is proud to be removing more than 3.2 billion single-use plastic bags from circulation every year in support of a greener future for Australia. 


The change enjoys broad support among shoppers, with a recent survey showing three-quarters (74.7%) supported the move to remove single-use plastic bags1. 


Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said; “From the beginning, we felt strongly that this was the right thing to do and we’re really pleased to see customers are behind the change as well.


“This is a landmark day for us not just as a business, but for our customers and communities, to help support a greener future for Australia. We are proud to say that from now on, single-use plastic bags are gone from our stores, for good.


“What we’re trying to do with this change is encourage more customers to bring their own reusable bags when shopping, so we can prevent plastic bags from reaching our waterways and reduce the overall production of plastics. 


“We know it may take some time for shoppers to form new habits, which is why we’ve been working hard to get the message out to customers to remember to bring their own bags over the past few months. Putting ‘reusable bags’ at the top of your shopping list, keeping a couple in the car or leaving a post-it note on the fridge are some simple tricks that could work as a reminder.”


From today, customers who forget to bring their own bags will have access to a range of new alternative shopping bag options, including a new 15 cent reusable bag which is made from at least 80% recycled plastic. There is also an emergency foldable bag and the Woolworths Bag for Good™ which are available for 99 cents.


Brad Banducci said: “Our Bag for Good is an unprecedented offering for our customers when it comes to reusable bags. It costs 99 cents and when it gets damaged, we will replace it for free, no matter when they bought it from us.”


But the ‘good’ doesn’t stop there. Any money made from the sale of the Woolworths Bag for Good™ will fund the Junior Landcare grants program, encouraging young Australians to play an active role in ensuring the sustainable future of their environment.


Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish said; “The Woolworths Junior Landcare program will help younger Australians to be more aware of environmental issues in their own backyard. They will have the opportunity to have hands-on environmental education in the class and in the schoolyard, which will only help to better future generations.”


As announced on World Environment Day, Woolworths has also committed to removing unnecessary packaging in produce and will trial the removal of plastic packaging on a further 80 lines over the next year. This will build on the 140 tonnes of plastic saved in the fruit and vegetables range in the last year. All of this comes as Woolworths also prepares to phase out the sale of plastic straws from all stores in the Group by the end of 2018.

 By the end of the month all Woolworths stores will also offer flexible plastic recycling options in all supermarkets via the REDcycle program. REDcycle is a closed loop recycling solution where customers can return soft plastic packaging used on produce, biscuit packets, frozen food bags, rice and pasta bags, confectionery packets and shopping bags, which are then sent to recycling partners. The material is delivered to REDcycle to be turned into recycled plastic products such as outdoor furniture.