WOOLWORTHS will stop giving shoppers free plastic bags within the next 12 months.
The supermarket giant will instead encourage customers to bring their own shopping bag or charge 15c for a heavier-duty reusable plastic bag.
Woolworths chief Brad Banducci said the retail giant needed to do its bit to cut down on plastic waste.
“We currently give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage,” he said.
“We are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously. “While we know this is a major decision, we will work very closely with all of our store teams to ensure the transition for our customers is as simple as possible.”
The decision impacts customers in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.
State governments in South Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania have already banned single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags while Queensland is set to join the push against plastic by the middle of next year.
Mr Banducci said customers would continue to have access to a range of alternative shopping bag options across the Woolworths Group network of stores.
Originally published as Woolworths axes free plastic bags