Coles begins charging 15¢ per plastic bag, stops free bag giveaways

Coles Supermarkets has reportedly ended its free plastic bag giveaways and will once again start charging customers 15¢ per bag if they don’t have any means to carry their groceries. Reports cite that the announcement comes after months of flip-flops where the company kept expanding the free bag giveaway deadlines.

The bags reportedly called Better Bags are made from 80% recycled material and are more durable than the single-use plastic bags that the company banned in July.

Customers have the option to recycle these Better Bags through the REDcycle recycling program – the largest retailer operated recycling initiative in Australia. Seemingly, as a part of the program REDcycle recycling bins would be made available at every Coles outlet where customers can deposit their Better Bags after use.

Reportedly, as a sign of appreciation the supermarket chain is also offering 30 ‘flybuys’ bonus points for a limited period of time to shoppers who bring their own bags with them and do not purchase any Better Bags during checkout.

Coles managing director, John Durkan had reportedly stated that moving in line with its customer-oriented vision Coles had made the Better Bags complementary to help customers transition to re-usable bags as many customers were unable to bring their own bags.

However, after the bag charge took effect customers were reportedly very reluctant to shell out the extra 15¢ per bag during their purchases and caused a massive backlash prompting Coles to backtrack on their decision earlier and offer bags for free indefinitely.

Reports cite that following the indefinitely extended deadline announcement various environmental groups like Greenpeace protested the decision stating that the company’s backtracking war not good for the planet.

On August 2nd, 2018 the company apparently sent out a memo to its staff that said that the complementary bag offer will end on August 29 after which each bag will carry a 15¢ charge.