Woolworths has returned to packing people’s bags at the checkout.
Woolworths has returned to packing people’s bags at the checkout.

Woolies’ old-school checkout move

Woolworths shoppers across the country will now be able to carry out their groceries in paper bags for the first time in four decades.

From today, all Woolies stores will offer customers the option of a paper bag option alongside reusable carry bags.

The old-school bags are being rolled out after a successful trial in 20 stores late last year and to meet increased demand from customers for easily recyclable bag options.

In decades gone by, paper bags were a common sight in Australian supermarkets, but they haven't been widely available in most stores for around 40 years.

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The new bags are made from 70 per cent recycled paper and will be sold for 20 cents each, while Woolies' existing reusable plastic bags, foldable bags and Bag for Good options will also still be available at the checkout.

They will be able to hold up to 6kg of grocery items per bag, and are made from responsibly sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

There are plans to offer the paper bags to online customers for home delivery and pick-up in the future.

Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters said the bags were already proving to be a hit with shoppers.

"While the vast majority of our customers bring their own bags, we know customers sometimes drop by a store unplanned or can forget their bags when they're on the run," Ms Peters said.

"For some time, customers have told us they'd like the option of a strong paper bag option, so we're pleased to now offer that choice at our checkouts, alongside our existing reusable plastic bags.

"These paper bags resonated really well with customers when we trialled them in 20 stores last year and we expect to see a positive response from the customers who've been asking for this option nationwide."

Meanwhile, each Bag for Good costs 99 cents but can be replaced free of charge if it is damaged, no matter when it was purchased.

The proceeds from those bag sales go to the Woolworths Junior Landcare Grants program.

Woolies' reusable bags cost 15 cents each, are made from at least 80 per cent recycled plastics and can be returned to the store, along with other soft plastics, for recycling in REDcycle bins.

The new paper bags are available from today. Picture: Dallas Kiolponen/Woolworths
The new paper bags are available from today. Picture: Dallas Kiolponen/Woolworths

And in another major bag shake-up, shoppers will have an eco-friendly alternative for holding their fruit and veg, with reusable nylon plastic bags launching today.

They will cost $4 for a three-pack, are compatible with Woolies checkout scales and can be found in the fresh produce section at all Woolworths Metros and selected Woolies stores.

Woolworths began phasing out single-use plastic shopping bags in 2018, and the company claims since then, more than six billion of them have been removed from circulation, with just 15 per cent of customers now purchasing new bags when doing their grocery shop.

The initiative comes hot on the heels of an announcement by Woolies yesterday that it would offer around 100,000 staff members $750 in shares and $250 in Team Member PlusCard credits as a "thank you" for their efforts during coronavirus and other recent crises.

It means eligible full-timers will gain a total bonus worth $1000, while casual staff employed before that date will receive $100, with the cards able to be spent in any Woolworths Supermarkets, Metro, BIG W and BWS stores.

In a statement, Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci thanked workers for their efforts in recent, unprecedented times.

"From protests in Hong Kong, droughts and bushfires in Australia to the devastating volcanic activity in New Zealand and finally COVID-19, we have pulled together as a team to support each other, our customers and the communities in which we live and operate," he said.

"This has taken an enormous amount of hard work and dedication and through our collective commitment we have indeed lived our purpose of creating better experiences together for a better tomorrow.

"We could think of no better way to thank and recognise our team than by making them shareholders in our Group."

 

 

 

Originally published as Woolies' old-school checkout move


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