NO SURCHARGE: Beefy's Meat Pies in Gympie is no longer charging customers for re-usable bags.
NO SURCHARGE: Beefy's Meat Pies in Gympie is no longer charging customers for re-usable bags. Renee Albrecht

Plastic bag charge draws criticism for Gympie business

BEEFY'S have denied claims they ripped customers off by replacing paper bags for re-usable plastic bags with a surcharge of 0.10c.

The family-owned business, which operates 10 stores in the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, respected the plastic bag ban by introducing re-usable bags.

The Gympie Times received a tip-off by a concerned customer a few days ago that customers were being slugged the 0.10c on bags only days after the ban was in place.

Chief operating officer Brett Hooper said the company received some negativity over the surcharge and decided to get rid of it as of this week.

"Initially there had been a $0.10c charge for the re-usable option provided at all Beefy's stores but I am happy to advise that as of Monday July 9, Beefy's have made the decision that similar to our tomato and barbecue sauce offerings, these will be provided at no charge,” Mr Hooper said.

The company decided to go from paper bags to re-usable bags as a way of helping the environment, as well as noting a lack of demand.

"Beefy's being a family owned and operated business, we understand the changes required to help future generations and have adapted to the bans by providing both paper and re-usable options,” he said.

"In relation to the paper bag option, we are experiencing difficulties in continuous supply due to the increase demand placed upon our suppliers but we are working on seeking resources elsewhere.”

Beefy's said they will "absorb all costs” associated with the re-usable bags.

Customer Murray Faint said he was surprised to see the company phase out paper bags.

"Paper bags are much more environmentally friendly. I think charging for plastic bags will have little impact on their use,” he said.