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The removal of single-use plastic bags has been a really important topic for our customers and our team, which is why BIG W committed to phase out all single-use plastic bags at our checkouts nationally.

After listening to our customers and working with our teams, we're proud to announce that from the 1st of July 2018 all BIG W stores will be single-use plastic bag free. We are committed to playing our part in reducing plastic usage and believe that this is the right thing to do for our environment.

This means that we, from the 1st of July, will no longer provide ‘free’ plastic bags at our checkouts in store. We've always encouraged the use of reusable bags and with this change it's now more important than ever for customers to bring in their own bags from home or pick up one of our reusable bags in store.

Tips on remembering bags

  • Always start your shopping list with ‘bags’ so you remember to bring them with you when you shop.
  • Put your reusable bags back in your car or bag after you unpack your shopping so they are ready for next time.
  • Hang them somewhere convenient, like your key hook or near your front door.

Frequently asked questions

This initiative, in line with the rest of the Woolworths Group, gives BIG W the opportunity to make a real difference to reducing the impact on the environment every day.

Our customers told us they wanted an affordable bag option. Our 15c bags are stronger than single-use bags and can be reused multiple times which helps reduce the impact on the environment.

We want to encourage everyone to reuse their bags and continuing to give away bags will not help us to significantly reduce the number of plastic bags used.

You can recycle these bags through the Woolworths REDcycle recycling program which can be found in your nearest Woolworths Supermarket.

While we considered this as an option, the production of paper bags has a more significant impact on the environment as they are produced from non-sustainable resources (e.g. water, and trees). They don’t really suit a typical BIG W shop and typically can be harder to reuse when they get wet.

Despite the fact that biodegradable bags do break down, they are not necessarily better for the environment. Whilst they break down faster, they are more harmful to the environment when not disposed of responsibly, particularly when mistakenly eaten by animals.

The proceeds from the sale of all of our bags cover the cost of the production and sale of the bags. These are more expensive bags to produce than the previous single-use plastics bags, as they are both designed to be re-used multiple times.

We can assure you we are not making a profit from the sale of our reusable bags. They are more expensive to produce and and we are making this change to make a real impact on the environment over the long term. We encourage our customers to bring their own reusable bags in store to take home their shopping.

We expect our reusable plastic bags to last 20 or more uses, while the fabric (non-woven) bags we expect to last over 50 uses. Obviously, this depends on the items the bags are carrying, and other factors, such as how the bags are stored, and the amount of time between uses.

Our customers told us they wanted an affordable bag option. Our 15c bags are stronger than single-use bags and can be reused multiple times which helps reduce the impact on the environment.

Removing plastic bags at the checkout is an important first step. We are working hard to reduce the use of plastic right across our Stores over the coming months, so watch this space for changes in those areas.

We recognise that plastic bags given away in our stores are often used for this purpose and so it will take a little time for people to get used to. We have a number of options available in our stores if you require them. You can find bin liners in our household cleaning department.

Reusable Bags