Woolworths, Australia moves single-use plastic bags ban date to June 20

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Single-use plastic bags.
Image: Troy Kelly.
A reusable Woolworths bag.
Image: erostrend.

In a statement on Wednesday, Brad Banducci, the chief executive of Woolworths, a large retail supermarket in Australia, announced a plan to ban free single-use plastic bags in Woolworths stores in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, and Western Australia. The ban would apply from June 20 this year, eleven days earlier than the deadline of July 1 set by some of the states' legislation.

The planned bans in the stores in Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia follow state legislation requiring the single-use bags to be banned by July 1. However, Woolworth's plan to ban single-use plastic bags in its stores in New South Wales was voluntary.

Reusable plastic bags would be sold for fifteen cents; canvas, 99 cents.

The change reportedly would affect Woolworths supermarkets, BWS liquor stores, Woolworth Metro stores, and petrol stations that have shops operated by Woolworths.

Advocates of the change have cited environmental concerns. Brad Banducci said, "Our teams have been working hard behind the scenes to accelerate the rollout of this plan so we can start making a positive impact on the environment as quickly as possible".

Starting from July last year, Coles and Woolworths had originally planned to phase out single-use plastic bags by June 30.

Tasmania, South Australia, Canberra and the Northern Territory were already not using single-use plastic bags following state bans, SBS reported.