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Woolworths reintroduces paper bags in a bid to drive down plastic use

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Woolies reintroduces paper bags in a bid to drive down plastic use – but customers will have to pay to use them

  • Paper bags seen at a Woolworths in Cairns with similar reported at Coles stores
  • Bags on sale for 20c unlike the iconic free ones of half a century ago
  • Shoppers didn’t find them very practical as they had no handles and were small 

Woolworths has turned back the clock several decades by offering brown paper shopping bags at its supermarkets.

The bags were spotted at a shop in Cairns this week for perhaps the first time since they were ditched for plastic ones half a century ago.

But unlike the free iconic packaging of your grandparents, Woolworths is selling them for 20c each – more expensive than its reusable plastic bags.

Woolworths has turned back the clock several decades by offering brown paper shopping bags at its supermarkets

Woolworths has turned back the clock several decades by offering brown paper shopping bags at its supermarkets

After the photo was posted to Facebook on Thursday, other shoppers reported seeing similar bags on sale at Coles.

However, shoppers noted the paper bags were not very practical as they had no handles, and were difficult to stack and carry.

They also only fit a few grocery items and were useless for anything cold that would degrade the paper through condensation.

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The bags were brought in as an alternative after the free lightweight plastic ones were banned from supermarkets over environmental fears last year

The bags were brought in as an alternative after the free lightweight plastic ones were banned from supermarkets over environmental fears last year

The bags were brought in as an alternative after the free lightweight plastic ones were banned from supermarkets over environmental fears last year.

Supermarkets instead sell tougher, reusable plastic bags for 15c each and encourage customers to bring them back next time.

Coles and Woolworths have made a large windfall from selling reusable bags since implementing the ban. 

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