Woolworths has announced it will phase-out its single-use plastic shopping bags by 2020, and will begin trialling new, specially-designed paper bags. The only draw-back is that the bags will not be suited to the purchase of groceries.
They will, however, be perfectly suitable to fashion, beauty and homeware purchases, and are made of 100% recycled paper. The paper that is used to produce the bags will be made from used cardboard and boxes, and are designed to withstand the weight of various items.
“The Woolworths paper bag has been designed as a true win-win,” said Feroz Koor, Woolworths’ group head of sustainability. “We are looking forward to getting the trial underway so that we can gauge customer reactions and put the necessary logistics into action,” Koor said.
The bag will first be trialled right here in Cape Town, at the Woolworths in Blue Route Mall, and for now, will be included free with all purchases excluding food.
Woolworths has also introduced a number of ‘plastic-bag-free’ stores across the country, and now sell low-cost reusable plastic bags instead which are more suitable for grocery purchases.
“Apart from the obvious benefit of helping customers change to reusable bags, the project has other important spin-offs,” the company said in a statement earlier this year.“The reusable shopping bag’s fabric is made locally out of recycled plastic bottles and is recyclable. To date, the production of the low-cost reusable bag has resulted in over 129,000 plastic bottles being removed from South African waste streams to be recycled and made into the bag’s fabric.”