Woolies’ surprising new bag move
Supermarket giant Woolworths has quietly rolled out paper bags at selected stores as an alternative to plastic reusable ones.
A Woolworths spokeswoman told news.com.au the company was currently trialling the paper bags in 21 stores.
They are being sold for 20 cents each, and are reusable and recyclable - although they are a pricier option compared with the 15 cent reusable plastic bags available at every store in the country.
"The vast majority of our customers bring their own bags to shop, but we know there are occasions when they forget or visit our stores unplanned," the spokeswoman said.
"Some customers have told us they would like the option of a paper bag when this happens.
"We're trialling paper bags in around 20 stores to test customer demand and will closely monitor feedback as we do."
The spokeswoman said Woolworths would continue to offer its Bag for Good and 15 cent reusable plastic bags to customers across the country.
The paper bags are made from 80 per cent recycled and 20 per cent virgin paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). They can be recycled in kerbside collection.
Woolworths' 15 cent reusable plastic bags can be recycled through REDcycle found at all stores.
Woolworths also offers customers the Bag for Good as a bag for life. It costs 99 cents and when it gets damaged, the company will replace it for free, no matter when it was purchased. Any money made from the sale of the Bag for Good helps fund the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program.
More than three billion bags have been taken out of circulation since the phase out of single-use plastic bags in June 2018.
However, many social media users have pointed out the trial is a case of "back to the future", with Coles and Woolworths providing paper bags in decades gone by before switching to plastic.
Wow, they used to have paper bags in the 70s.— Shane (@sgt_rawk) October 17, 2019
"Everything old is new again. We had this before and we changed to plastic bags to save the trees," one Facebook user wrote.
"Back to the 50S, 40S, 50S, 60S, we go," another added.
Good luck to those waiting for a tram/bus home and it rains.— VelvetTeaLeaf (@VelvetTeaLeaf) October 17, 2019
But many have also pointed out the obvious drawback of paper bags, which is that they become soggy and can disintegrate when wet, such as in the rain.