Woolies, Coles new bag ban warning

20th June 2018 2:30 PM
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SUPERMARKET customers' bags must not only be 'green' but also clean otherwise they will not be packed.

Retail giants Woolworths and Coles have warned customers to only present unsoiled bags at checkouts, otherwise their employees will not handle them.

The two supermarket giants said soiled bags or excessively dirty bags will be rejected because of health and safety regulations and customers may need to purchase thicker plastic reusable bags.

Make sure your reusable bag is clean or supermarket staff may refuse to pack it. Picture: AAP Image/Woolworths Group, PPR, Dallas Kilponen
Make sure your reusable bag is clean or supermarket staff may refuse to pack it. Picture: AAP Image/Woolworths Group, PPR, Dallas Kilponen

"For the health and safety of all customers and our team members, we cannot pack bags that are excessively dirty," the spokeswoman said.

"If you need a new bag, we have alternatives starting at 15c, as well as a range of Community Bags, which direct a proportion of sales to our community and charity partners."

A Coles spokeswoman said they would still accept single-use bags for repacking or they can be deposited in bins at their stores.

She ditched rumours that "scrunched-up" single use plastic bags would also be rejected following a call from a talk-back caller on 4BC on Tuesday night.

"My dad went to Coles on Monday and the girl at the check-out … said if they're scrunched-up we are not going to use them," the male caller told Steve Price and Andrew Bolt.

The Coles spokeswoman said 'scrunched-up' bags would be accepted but their main concern was health and safety for employees.

Coles will stop distributing free plastic bags from July 1, while Woolworths stopped handing out bags today.

It's not just supermarkets who will stop distributing plastic bags.

A statewide ban on all retailers - convenience stores, pharmacies, etc - will prohibit the distribution of lightweight plastic bags, less than 35 microns thick with handles, to customers.

A Woolworths spokesman said all bags are welcome at the check-out.

"Customers are welcome to bring any bags they like into store, so long as they're clean and hygienic for our team to handle," he said.