‘Bag rage’ prompts backdown on plastic bag charge in Australia

04 August, 2018, 09:05 | Author: Sherry Houston
  • The reusable bags were initially only supposed to be free for one week. Source 7 NewsMore

The supermarket giant announced on Wednesday that all Australian stores would be giving away the reusable bags indefinitely as a customer "transition period".

Coles has been handing out reusable plastic bags to most of its Australian customers since July 1 when it began a ban on single-use plastic bags and told customers they'd have to begin paying for the reusable bags.

The supermarket conglomerate meant to start charging 15 cents for their reusable Better Bags on August 1st but have since backflipped on this decision.

A Coles spokesman said customer feedback indicated they needed more time to transition to reusable bags.

Greenpeace campaigner Simon Black said Coles' move was "incredibly disappointing" and "makes a complete mockery of their claims to want to reduce plastic waste".

Coles has once again sounded the death knell for free plastic bags at its checkouts, with the supermarket saying it will start charging 15¢ for reusable bags later this month.

"At Coles we are absolutely committed to reducing our impact on the environment and making a positive contribution to the communities in which our customers and team members live and work", Managing Director John Durkan wrote in a message to staff.

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Steve then found himself in a heated debate with advertising executive Dee Manigan who argued that Coles has made a misstep with this decision and should expect "huge backlash" considering the majority of customers are actually behind the bag ban.

In the latest backflip, a Coles spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday that the supermarket would give the 15c bags away for free indefinitely.

Now, I'm not advocating violence but what I would advocate is stop being a bunch of compliant saps and when somebody does something stupid, which this unquestionably is, go "it isn't good enough and I'm not going to stop with you until you change your policy".

Coles copped enormous public backlash yesterday for its apparent decision to renege on its plastic bag ban, and it seems like that backlash outweighed the pressure they were copping from angry shoppers who didn't want to pay 15 cents per bag.

The backflip prompted rival Woolworths to reaffirm its commitment to banning single-use plastic bags, and another player, Harris Farm Markets, to plead with the NSW state Government to crack down.

Sally Edsall was also displeased.

"While a minority of people are struggling to cope, we know it's just a matter of time for people to adapt to the change".



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