WOOLWORTHS has done a major backflip on its plastic bag ban and will now hand out free reusable bags to shoppers for the next 10 days.

The supermarket giant has responded to outrage by customers just one week after they dumped single-use plastic bags in all their stores in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA.

Irate customers have complained about having to pay for bags at the checkout while some shoppers have not had enough of their own bags to take away all their own groceries in.

Others annoyed customers who had simply forgotten to bring their own bags have also voiced their frustration at having to pay for their own shopping bags.

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Woolworths has dumped single-use plastic bags in all its stores nationally.
Woolworths has dumped single-use plastic bags in all its stores nationally.

Woolworths managing director of supermarkets Claire Peters said they have responded to customer feedback and shoppers will now be able to get free 15 cent reusable bags until Sunday, July 8.

"Since we have phased out single-use plastic bags nationwide on the 20th of June some customers have told us that getting into the habit of bringing their own reusable bags has been a challenge,'' she said.

"While some customers have forgotten their reusable bags altogether many have done the right thing and brought their own only to end up one or two reusable bags short."

The bags are made from 80 per cent of recycled plastics.

Customers will be able to get as many bags as they need at no charge so they can take away their groceries.

Many Woolworths customers have been outraged that they have to pay for their own bags.
Many Woolworths customers have been outraged that they have to pay for their own bags.

However, this will not apply to locations outside of the four states where the ban has been implemented this month.

Woolworths has taken more than 50 million grey plastic bags - often reused by customers as bin liners - out of circulation since the plastic bag ban came into effect on June 20.

Rival supermarket giant Coles will also be dumping single-use plastic bags in all its stores including Coles Express and Shell service stations in Vic, NSW, Qld and WA from this Sunday.

The move by the big two ­supermarkets to dump plastic bags is to help reduce the ­environmental impact of single-use bags.

Concerns have swirled around the use of single-use plastic bags because they are not biodegradable and can have detrimental impacts on marine wildlife and birds.

Single-use plastic bags will be dumped from Coles supermarkets from July 1.
Single-use plastic bags will be dumped from Coles supermarkets from July 1.

Ms Peters said many Woolworths customers "want a little extra help" to get through the transaction to bring their own bags or buying reusable bags at 15 cents or fordable bags at 99 cents.

"This will not only help support customers as they work to form new habits but also ensure they'll have reusable bags available for shopping at Woolworths,'' she said.

Online shoppers at Woolworths have also voiced their frustrations at being slugged for having their groceries delivered to their homes of the costs involved.

This includes having groceries delivered in reusable plastic bags at $1 per delivery or pay for them to be delivered in a crate to bench service at $3.50 per order.

These charges will remain in place.



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