Woolworths Group Chief Executive Brad Banducci (R) and Woolworths Stores Director Michael James with the company’s new range of bags.

Supermarket giant Woolworths has announced it will implement a ban on single-use plastic bags throughout its Australian stores within the next year. A statement released by Woolworths said the company wanted to contribute to efforts that reduce plastic bag usage and saw the decision as the right thing to do as one of Australia’s largest retailers.

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,” he said.

A new 15c bag will be introduced by the company and customers will also have access to a range of alternative shopping bag options, including thicker, reusable variations at different price points to suit consumer needs.

Supermarket retailer Coles has also made a similar announcement not long after Woolworths.

Banning thin plastic bags and charging for thicker plastic bags is the approach that supermarket chain Aldi has taken since they first started in Australia in 2001.

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