By Derek Schlennstedt
Customers shopping at Woolworths Seville and Woolworths Yarra Junction will this week begin to notice in-store reminders to bring their own reusable bags.
The reminders come as the supermarket prepares to go single-use plastic bag free nationally from June 20.
Across Australia this will see the removal of 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags from circulation each year.
Woolworths Seville and Woolworths Yarra Junction Group Manager, Todd Adamson said theyw ere committed to reducing their impact on the environment.
“At Woolworths we are committed to listening to our customers and also doing the right thing for the environment,” he said.
“We are proud to be able to help create a greener future for Australia with our customers by removing single-use plastic bags from our store from June 20.”
“We appreciate that it will be a big change for our customers and will do what we can to support them through the transition to make it as smooth and simple as possible.”
In the lead up to June 20, there will be increased signage in-store and at checkouts reminding customers on the date change.
Customers will have the option to bring in their own bags or will have access to purchase a range of reusable bag options starting from 15 cents.
Todd added that local team members will be around to chat with customers regularly to ensure they know about the upcoming change and the various options available, as well as sharing tips on how to remember to bring reusable bags when shopping.
“We know our customers will have their own ways of remembering bags and we look forward to hearing how they are planning for the change as well,” Mr Adamson said.
Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said that the Woolworths’ move to reusable bags will have a really positive impact on the environment.
“Single-use plastic bags have become a huge problem for Australia’s oceans and waterways where they cause significant harm to marine life,” Mr Adamson said.
The move by Safeway also comes five years after an initiative was created by a group of Warburton residents to create a Plastic Bag Free Warburton was created.
The town has since gotten rid of most of the plastic bags in the town, with local IGA stores coming on board and reporting a decrease in plastic bag ues. Over the year more than 400 litres of waste has been collected from the Yarra River, home to the platypus and plastic bag numbers have remained a small but steady contributor.