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Big W the latest retailer to ditch single-use plastic bags

Big W has become the latest retailer to announce it is ditching single-use plastic carrier bags.

The discount chain says the bags will no longer be available at any store across the country from July 1.

It will instead be selling reusable bags or encouraging customers to bring their own.

“At Big W we believe a sustainable future for Aussie families is important, so from the 1st of July we’ve made the commitment to remove single-use plastic shopping bags from all of our stores,” said Managing Director David Walker.

“Our customers trust us not only to offer them a great range of quality products at low prices, but to be a responsible member of the communities we serve across Australia. That includes reducing waste, particularly plastics that damage the environment we live in.”

Big W follows in the footsteps of parent company Woolworths, which is currently phasing out plastic bags across the country. Woolies is said to be working to a June 20 deadline to complete the transition, along with supermarket rival Coles.

“We understand we’re asking our customers to modify their shopping behaviour and that’s why we want to give them as much notice as possible to get them accustomed to the new more environmentally-friendly way bringing their Big W shopping home,” added Mr Walker.

To accommodate for the lack of the traditional plastic bags at its checkout, Big W will have three types of other bags on offer. Ranging in price from 15c to $2.50, all are reusable, and can be recycled through the Woolworths REDcycle program.

“We’re 4 weeks away from this big but very necessary change, so if your usual routine is to pack away your reusable bags with the shopping, think about putting them back into the car straight away so the next time you come into Big W, you’re ready,” advises Walker.

What else are the big retailers doing?

On top of both Woolworths and Coles doing away with single-use plastic bags, the big supermarkets are also launching new initiatives to cut down on waste around their stores.

Earlier this week, Woolworths announced the decision to stop selling plastic straws, as well as to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used with fruit and vegetables. Coles has also made fresh commitments to use less plastic packaging around its stores.

“While we’ve made progress in reducing the amount of plastic in our stores, supported recycling labelling initiatives, and made improvements in energy efficiency, sustainable sourcing and reducing food waste, we know that more needs to be done to meet our customers’ expectations,” Woolworths Chief Executive Brad Banducci said.

Big W also announced more changes were likely in the next few months in regards to the company’s use of plastic across its operations.

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