Gunnedah’s groceries stores will be free of plastic bags by the start of July.
Woolworths will stop using plastic bags by June 20 and Coles will follow on July 1. Aldi’s ahead of the game, as it doesn’t offer them anyway.
Local residents will now have to use alternatives, such as reusable bags.
Coles Gunnedah is ready for the change-over and is already selling multi-use bags, which have been designed by school children across Australia. A portion of sales will be donated to Coles’ community partners – Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia, SecondBite and Guide Dogs Australia.
At the end of their lives, the shoulder bags and tote bags can be recycled at REDcycle bins at Coles supermarkets.
“There’s no doubt that the phasing out of single use plastic bags will be a big transition for customers. However, we think that customers are willing to give up the plastic bag and use reusable bags for the sake of the environment,” Coles Gunnedah store manager Vikram Singh said.
“We have been running trials in some stores and the response has been positive.”
If customers forget to bring their own reusable bags, they can buy the Better Bag for 15 cents, which are made from 80 per cent recycled material and are bigger, thicker and more durable than single-use plastic bags. They can be used multiple times and can be recycled through the REDcycle bins.