If you’ve been tuning into the news lately, you’re probably aware of that fact that some supermarkets have banned single-use plastic bags. If you have questions about the ban, you’re not alone, but we’re here to provide the answers.
“Which Supermarkets are Banning Plastic Bags?”
A number of retailers have implemented the ban in their stores. Below are some of the most notable participants in the plastic bag ban:
Woolworths is a retail giant across all Australian states, and they’re one of the first supermarkets to completely ditch plastic bags from their stores before July 1 2018. They’ve also taken measures to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging across 80 fruit and vegetable products.
As a part of Woolworths group, BWS and Caltex have also followed suit in banning single-use plastic bags.
As the rival supermarket to Woolworths, it’s no surprise that Coles is included in the list of retailers to ban plastic bags early. Coles took similar measures to Woolworths in their added efforts to reduce waste after implementing the ban, promising to reduce plastic coverings from fruit and veggies and provide customers with the opportunity to recycle soft plastics at every store.
IGA followed suit from the examples set by bigger grocers, recently announcing they’d be implementing the ban in their 1400 stores across Australia. Like Coles and Woolworths, IGA has produced a range of reusable bags to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment.
Unlike the other retailers listed, Aldi has never provided free plastic bags to its Australian customers since its establishment here in 2001. Aldi has always placed a 15c charge on plastic bags and provided reusable bags for under a dollar.
Also a part of Woolworths’ group, Big W ditched plastic bags with the supermarket giant on June 20.
“Why are Retailers Banning Plastic Bags?”
There’s been a lot of outrage over plastic bag bans, with 1 in 5 Aussies reporting that they disagree with retailers’ decisions to ditch plastic.
A lot of this anger and disapproval comes from not understanding why supermarkets have chosen to implement a more environmentally-conscious approach in their services.
As of August 2018, all states in Australia have enforced a ban on single-use plastic bags except New South Wales, with offences relating to providing the banned plastics in all other states resulting in hefty fines.
Though New South Wales is left out in not concreting the ban as law, many of its supermarkets are ditching single-use plastic bags for the same reasons as the other states – to work toward a healthier environment.
With 16 million plastic shopping bags ending up in landfill each year (and that’s just in the state of Queensland), plastic bags have been posing a serious pollution threat to our marine wildlife.
The negative environmental impact of littered plastic bags has been noticed, and retailers are making an effort to reduce and eventually halt these harmful plastic contributions – that’s where the ban comes in, and why swapping single-use plastic bags for reusable ones is worth the adjustment!
“What Can I Use Instead of Plastic Bags?”
All the major retailers listed above provide reusable, environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic bags in-store. You can purchase canvas or cooler bags from your supermarket and use them every time you shop – just remember to keep them in your car, by your shopping list or somewhere you’ll remember to take them.
The adjustment from free and readily available plastics to reusable bags is tricky, but the payoff in ensuring our environment is healthy for generations to come is worth remembering to take one extra thing with you on your shopping trip.