Customers shopping at Woolworths Cloncurry and Woolworths Mount Isa will this week begin to notice in-store reminders to bring their own reusable bags, 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 Group Manager, Gary O'Hara said they are committed to listening to their customers and also doing the right thing for the environment.
“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,” Mr O’Hara said.
“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.
“Our local team members will 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.
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.
Woolworths Mount Isa Manager John Neal said initially it will be hard to remember to bring your reusable bags shopping with you.
“But like any habit once you’re in a routine it will become easier and if not then we have a range of options ready just in case.”
Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said Woolworths' move will have a really positive impact on our environment and we're confident the local community will embrace it.
“Single-use plastic bags have become a huge problem for Australia’s oceans and waterways where they cause significant harm to marine life, such as turtles and whales,” Mr Klymenko said.
“They also don't breakdown in landfill and require significant resources to manufacture in the first place.
“Experience in countries like the UK and Ireland shows that the introduction of small charges on plastic bags can end up reducing plastic bag usage by up to 85 percent as locals embrace reusable alternatives.
“This is a real win for the environment,” he said.