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17 July 2017

Woolworths Group announces move away from single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags nationwide

Friday, 14 July 2017: Woolworths Group has today announced it will no longer offer single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags across its entire store network in Australia within the next 12 months.

Woolworths Group wants to play its part in reducing plastic bag usage and has taken this decision because it is the right thing to do as one of Australia’s largest retailers.

This approach will cover all stores across the Woolworths Group nationwide - including Woolworths Supermarkets and Metro stores, BIG W, BWS and Online. Dan Murphy’s and Cellarmasters are already single-use plastic bag free.

The phased approach will begin shortly with the expectation it will be fully in place across the entire Woolworths Group Australian network by at least 30 June 2018.

Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci said; “As a Group we are committed to listening to our customers and also doing the right thing for the environment, and we feel this is an issue we need to take a stand on.

“We currently give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage. Today’s commitment shows we are committed to taking our environmental and community responsibilities seriously. 

“Whilst we know this is a major decision, we will work very closely with all of our store teams to ensure the transition for our customers is as simple as possible. 

“Our customers expect responsible retailing and they can be assured that this is just the start of further commitments by Woolworths in this space. Our team continues to work hard to minimise our impact on the environment through the minimisation of food waste, ethical and sustainable sourcing, and reduction in energy use.

“Our customers can also expect further commitments in reducing plastic use in all parts of our supply chain, especially in fruit and vegetables.”

Today’s announcement ensures stores in states that have not passed Government legislation in this space as yet - New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia - will come in line with stores in states and territories where this is already legislated. South Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania are already single-use lightweight plastic shopping bag free, with Queensland also legislated to join mid next year.

Customers will continue to have access to a range of alternative shopping bag options across the Woolworths Group network of stores. This includes thicker reusable versions at different price points to suit customer needs, with the exception of BIG W, which may provide re-usable bags to customers at no extra cost.

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For further information please contact the Woolworths Press Office on (02) 8885 1033