Patrick Hatch, ‘Supermarket backs down on plastic bags’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 02.08.18
Coles has hoisted a white flag in the face of angry shoppers aggrieved by having to pay 15c for a “reusable” bag and has promised to give them away for free until customers get used to bringing their own.
The supermarket chain’s decision has raised the ire of environmental campaigners who say it is a return to the “bad old days” where plastic bags were used once and then discarded.
Coles and Woolworths removed thin “single-use” plastic bags from their checkouts nationwide in July and late June, respectively, as a growing number of state governments ban the environmentally damaging items.
But offering only thicker, “reusable” plastic bags for 15c each has elicited howls of outrage and led to a series of backflips – including giving the reusable bags away for free for a short period of time while customers adapted to the changes – to quell the outcry.
In the latest backflip, a Coles spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the supermarket would give the 15c bags away for free, until shoppers had “become accustomed to bringing their own bags”.
“When Coles phased out single-use plastic bags on 1 July…some customers told us they needed more time to make the transition to reusable bags,” she said.
“Many customers bringing bags from home are still finding themselves short a bag or two, so we are offering complimentary reusable Better Bags to help them complete their shopping.”
Coles said the free bags were an “interim measure to help customers transition to reusable bags”. …