Politicians left on the wrong side of history as Woolworths and Coles ban single-use plastic bags

July 14, 2017: Greenpeace Australia Pacific welcomes today’s decision by Woolworths and Coles to completely phase out single-use plastic bags over the next 12 months.

The supermarket giants today announced they would no longer offer the lightweight plastic shopping bags across their chains of stores network in Australia.

“This announcement by Woolworths and Coles show they are serious about their responsibilities as Australia’s largest supermarket chains,” Greenpeace campaigner Samantha Wockner said.

“This ban will stop billions of bags from being used each year in Australia, tens of millions of which can make their way into our waterways and eventually end inside marine life and our food.

“The environment ministers of Victoria and NSW need to recognise that they are being left behind on this issue and must step up and show the leadership that is embarrassingly being shown by supermarket chains and not them.”

Greenpeace Australia Pacific is calling on the state governments of NSW and Victoria to follow the lead set by Woolworths and Coles.

South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT all have bans on single-use plastic bags. Queensland will introduce a ban in July 2018 while NSW and Victoria are yet to implement a policy on bags. Western Australia has stated it hopes to bring in a ban on bags in the next 18 months.

“The overwhelming majority of Australians support a ban on single use plastic bags – which are only used for minutes on average, but then take up to a thousand years to decompose,” Wockner said.

“There is no reason for the paralysis currently infecting some state and federal governments on this issue.

“It’s time for us to ban the bag at every level.”

For interviews contact:

Simon Black

Greenpeace Senior Media Campaigner

0418 219 086 / [email protected]