Woolworths introducing big changes to reusable shopping bags in WA
Woolworths will introduce major changes to its reusable shopping bags over the coming weeks as part of a broader sustainability push.
The retail giant will stop selling its 15 cent reusable plastic bags across all WA stores in July, while a complete ban on lightweight plastic bags will come into effect in NSW from next month.
The move will impact retailers who still provide thin single use plastic shopping bags to customers, unlike the major supermarkets who have had thicker reusable plastic bags on offer since 2018.
Woolworths said its 15 cent reusable bags won’t be affected by the NSW legislation.
The recent introduction of compostable fruit and vegetable bags in Woolworths’ South Australian supermarkets last month removed up to 70 tonnes of plastic from landfill annually, according to the retailer.
The retailer has not announced any plans to switch to compostable fruit and veg bags in other states.
Woolworths also announced it will power its South Australian stores using renewable energy from July, with other states soon set to follow.
The move comes amid a new renewable energy partnership which will see the retailer’s almost 70 supermarkets, 17 BIG Ws and Adelaide Regional Distribution Centre go green.
Renewable electricity will be sourced from Iberdrola Australia’s wind turbines and solar network at the newly developed Port Augusta Renewable Energy Park.
Across the park, 50 turbines and 250,000 solar panels will work in tandem to supply 100,000 Megawatt hours of renewable electricity per year on the retailer’s behalf.
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas said the switch was the latest in his state’s list of environmentally conscious efforts.
“This is the way the world is moving. Private capital is now leading the charge in backing clean energy, which presents a big opportunity for South Australian jobs,” he said.
“Which is why the State Labor government is working to ensure we maintain our position as a national leader on renewable energy.”
Woolworths will gradually replace non-reusable energy contracts in other states across Australia by 2025.
CEO Brad Banducci said the scheme is aimed to drive down Woolworths’ carbon footprint.
“South Australia has helped lead the transition to renewable energy in Australia, combining solar, wind and batteries to enable us to make this leap forward in our mission to be powered entirely by renewable sources by 2025,” he said.
“Our customers want us to make shopping better for the planet, and renewable energy is one of the key ways we’re boosting sustainability.”
The supermarket giant is the country’s largest retailer and represents around one per cent of the country’s total energy use.
Originally published as Woolworths introducing big changes to reusable shopping bags in WA
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails