Single-use plastic bag ban begins in Parkes from Wednesday

ALTERNATIVES: Parkes Big W store manager Joy Spice and employee Ashleigh Sense with the new thicker reusable plastic bags for 15 cents. Photo: Christine Little
ALTERNATIVES: Parkes Big W store manager Joy Spice and employee Ashleigh Sense with the new thicker reusable plastic bags for 15 cents. Photo: Christine Little

The first of the single-use plastic bag bans at Parkes’ major retailers and supermarkets will come into effect from Wednesday, June 20.

Parkes shoppers will soon no longer find single-use plastic bags at the checkout, with Parkes Woolworths the first to ban the bag on June 20.

Parkes Big W, Parkes Coles and Cunningham’s IGA are all to follow on Sunday, July 1.

Although Cunningham’s IGA owner Peter Boschman said their ban could come into effect sooner if their single-use plastic bag stocks are exhausted before the end of the month.

Target in Parkes does not have a date in place for when they will be phasing out their single-use plastic bags, but it was confirmed on Friday they will be following suit in the near future.

The ban is happening statewide at major retailers – and Australia-wide for other states.

South Australia was the first state to phase the bags out in 2009. 

ACT and the Northern Territory were the next to follow suit in 2011, while Tasmania banned them in 2013.

Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia will also ban the bags from July 1 this year.

The NSW Government has refused to ban single-use plastic bags, arguing the moves by the supermarket chains will be enough to reduce plastic bag use.

Last July NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she did not need to ban plastic bags in NSW, “because 80 per cent of plastic bags” will already be banned by the supermarkets themselves.

BAG BAN: By July 1, 2018, single-use plastic bags will no longer be given out at Woolworths, Big W and Coles stores and Cunningham's IGA.

BAG BAN: By July 1, 2018, single-use plastic bags will no longer be given out at Woolworths, Big W and Coles stores and Cunningham's IGA.

Woolworths and Coles joined the push to rid Australia of disposable plastic bags last July, and set a deadline of June 30, 2018 for their stores to stop offering them to shoppers.

Woolworths later brought forward that deadline to June 20.

Woolworths give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and, according to Clean Up Australia's managing director Terrie-Ann Johnson, Australians use about six billion plastic bags every year.

Instead of single-use plastic bags, stores in Parkes will now sell a range of alternative shopping bag options, which include thicker reusable versions at the checkout.

Thicker reusable plastic bags at 15 cents each will be the cheapest alternative at Woolworths, Big W and Coles, with “green bags” or more durable and chill bags also on offer, ranging from 99 cents and above.

Cunningham’s IGA will be offering reusable bag options at varying prices, beginning at 20 cents.

This month Coles and Woolworths stepped up their war on plastic, introducing new targets to slash the amount of wrapping on fresh fruit and vegetables as well as tackling food waste.