Whitsundays supermarkets have well and truly jumped the gun on the plastic bag ban as Woolworths introduced reuseable bags to shoppers yesterday and Airlie Beach IGA introduced its own ban 15 months ago.
As of yesterday, Woolies stores across Queensland, and Australia, have stopped the use of lightweight plastic bags. The ban extends to all Woolworths Group stores, including BigW.
The plastic bag ban is set to come into effect on July 1, however Woolworths isn’t the only supermarket in the Whitsunday region to have raced ahead of the game.
Airlie Beach IGA in Jubilee Pocket was the first supermarket in the region to go plastic bag free, although other IGA franchises still use heavyweight plastic bags.
Co-owner Belynda Martin said Airlie Beach IGA introduced its own ban 15months ago after the devastation of Cyclone Debbie left a mass of debris in the ocean.
Ms Martin said the response from customers had been fabulous so far, although some still forget to bring reuseable bags, which led to the introduction of a cashback incentive.
“Our customers are already good with bringing in their own bags now, but some still forget,” she said.
“As an incentive, after July 1, customers will receive a 5c cashback for every reuseable bag that they bring back in to Airlie Beach IGA.”
Undeterred by its main competitors, Coles will go ahead with original plans to replace single-use plastic bags with reuseable bags on July 1.
The ban will effectively remove single-use plastic bags and lightweight plastic shopping bags.
Shoppers will still have access to bags for groceries such as fruit and vegetables, as well as garbage bags and bin liners. Thicker plastic bags can also be purchased for 15c from larger retailers such as Coles, Woolworths and most IGAs.
Plastic bag ban
Source: Whitsunday Times.