Woolworths will phase out its 15-cent plastic bags in WA over March and April

Woolworths to phase out plastic bags in WA

Woolworths plans to be the first major supermarket to phase out its 15-cent plastic shopping bags in WA over the next month.

From Monday March 21, over the coming weeks, stores across the state will gradually run down stock of the supermarket's reusable plastic bags.

Woolworths will make its Australian-made paper shopping bags the entry option for those customers who haven't brought their own bags to the store, as well as online orders.

Woolworths was the first national supermarket to remove single use plastic shopping bags in 2018, introducing its 15-cent reusable plastic shopping bags, followed by the addition of a paper shopping bag to Woolworths' range in 2020.

Now, more than 80 per cent of Woolworths customers in WA bring their own bags to shop, representing a significant change in customer habits in recent years.

Woolworths State General Manager for WA, Karl Weber said the move to support the WA government's upcoming plastic bag ban.

"This change will see more than 30 million plastic bags removed from circulation in WA every year - which is a big win for the health of our oceans and waterways," he said.

"While our paper bags will continue to be available, the most sustainable bag you can use is the reusable one you bring from home.

"The vast majority of our customers already bring their own reusable bags to shop, which is the very best outcome for the environment, and we encourage customers to keep up the great work.

"We know the change brought about by this new WA legislation may be an adjustment for some customers and we thank them in advance for their support as we all work together to grow greener."

WA environment minister Reece Whitby said the state had a strong track record on reducing single-use plastics in the environment.

"The WA community has shown overwhelming support for this - and I would like to thank everyone, including Woolworths, who have embraced these important changes," he said.

Woolworths will be communicating the change to Western Australian customers through in-store signage and radio, catalogue, customer emails and print advertising to raise awareness of the change and encourage them to bring their own reusable bag to create the most benefit for the environment.

While Woolworths encourages shoppers to bring their own reusable bags, customers can choose from three carry bag options in store including its 20-cent Australian-made paper bag which uses 70 per cent recycled paper, Woolworths' Bag for Good and foldable fabric bags.