Coles fol­lows Woolies in plan to ban plas­tic bags

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - PETRINA BERRY

WOOL­WORTHS and Coles have joined the na­tional push to rid Aus­tralia of free dis­pos­able plas­tic bags within the next year.

Wool­worths, Big W, BWS, Dan Mur­phy’s and Cel­lar­mas­ters’ liquor stores na­tion­wide, all part of the Wool­worths group, plan to get rid of all sin­gle- use plas­tic bags by June 30 next year.

Shop­pers will in­stead be of­fered re­us­able bags rang­ing from 15c to $ 2, al­though Big W may pro­vide re­us­able bags at no ex­tra cost.

Wool­worths’ chief ex­ec­u­tive Brad Ban­ducci said the group gave out more than 3.2 bil­lion light­weight plas­tic bags a year.

“To­day’s com­mit­ment shows we are com­mit­ted to tak­ing our en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mu­nity re­spon­si­bil­i­ties se- ri­ously,” he said. Wool­worths’ lunchtime an­nounce­ment was quickly fol­lowed by a sim­i­lar an­nounce­ment from fierce ri­val Coles yes­ter­day.

Coles said it would bring Coles’ stores in Queens­land, NSW, Vic­to­ria and WA into line with Tas­ma­nia, SA, the North­ern Ter­ri­tory and the ACT, where Coles com­plies with lo­cal bans.

Coles chief cus­tomer of­fi­cer Si­mon McDow­ell said this fol- lowed sev­eral months of con­sul­ta­tion with non­govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups.

Jon Dee, the founder of the na­tional anti- plas­tic bag cam­paign Do Some­thing, wel­comed the move.

“Aldi took the lead when they set up here in 2001 be­cause from day one they didn’t give away free plas­tic bags,” he said.

Mr Dee said light­weight plas­tic bags of­ten ended up pol­lut­ing wa­ter­ways and the ocean.

Green­peace cam­paigner Sa­man­tha Wockner said the move would have a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive im­pact on the environment, and urged more gov­ern­ments to act.

“It’s dis­ap­point­ing that lead­er­ship on this is­sue has come from a large su­per­mar­ket chain rather than from our politi­cians,” she said.

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