The National Retail Association (NRA) has revealed that self-imposed ban has helped major Australian supermarkets eliminate around 1.5 billion single-use plastic carry bags from July this year.
The two major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths have stopped the use of single-use free plastic carry bags, which is also in line with state-wide ban in Queensland.
NRA industry policy manager David Stout said the overall bag consumption has reduced by more than 80% since the launch of reusable options with minimal cost for customers.
Stout further added: “The NRA has calculated that 1.5 billion bags have been saved since July 1 when Queensland banned the single use plastic carry bag.
“The bulk of shoppers now use their own bags, which has been instrumental in reducing the number of plastic bags being consumed. Indeed, some retailers are reporting reduction rates as high as 90%.
“Retailers deserve an enormous amount of cudos for leading the way on one of the most significant changes to consumer behaviour in generation and we also applaud shoppers for embracing this environmental initiative.”
In addition, the major supermarkets have contributed the profits from the sales of alternative bags to the various groups in community sector such as Landcare, Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia, SecondBite and Guide Dog, said Stout.
NRA is a not-for-profit organization, which represents the interests of retailers across Australia. The organization deals with the issues of retailers and fast food businesses.
In September this year, the Australian Government announced that it is planning to have 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier, as part of the 2025 national packaging targets.
The national packaging targets also comprise 70% of the country’s plastic packaging will be recycled or composted by 2025, 30% average recycled content to be included across all packaging by 2025.
Australia Minister for the Environment Melissa Price launched the Australasian Recycling Label as a tool to achieve the 2025 National Packaging Targets.
More than 50 Australian businesses have committed to the program, with the label now being used by brands such as Woolworths, Officeworks, Nestlé, Blackmores, Australia Post, Unilever and Plantic.