Loved it or hated it, nobody could say that the Coles and Woolworth decision to remove the free plastic bags at checkout wasn’t controversial. There are a number of countries in the world who have implemented plastic bag reforms. Big businesses have had to move with these new regulations and adjust accordingly. But in Australia it was led by the Supermarkets. They chose this path and governments and bloggers alike have been keeping a keen eye to see its success.
It has been a resounding one. 1.5 billion fewer bags floating around in various crevices of our environment. The figures quoted from the National Retail Association (NRA) are undeniable. Customer behaviours are changing, peoples opinions are changing.
Supermarkets here in Australia admit that although there has been a reduction of 80% in consumption of plastic bags nationwide, the job is not done. Many environmentalists flag to big retail operators the importance of reducing packaging waste. Small and medium plastic bags are still a common site in Woolworths and Coles, espcially in the fruit and vegetable sections.
Mr Stout of the NRA has called on governments to continue to look into legislation of plastic to even the playing field and force through more bans on unnecessary plastic waste.
Target and Kmart have now also committed to stop providing single use bags. A fantastic example set by big Australian retailers.