‘Bag rage’ prompts backdown on plastic bag charge in Australia

Kenny Grant
August 2, 2018

This morning, Coles CEO John Durkan emailed 115,000 staff letting them know that they won't be giving out free plastic bags forever.

"Some customers told us they needed more time to make the transition to re-usable bags", a spokesperson for Coles told CNN, adding that even customers bringing bags from home still found themselves needing more.

Steve staunchly defended Coles, saying the decision 'reestablishes competition and it says that the customer is always right, ' before being intercepted by Waleed.

It then extended the giveaway until August 1, but once that date rolled by it walked away from the deadline and said the free bags would continue to be provided to shoppers.

"This decision makes a complete mockery of Coles' claim to want to reduce plastic waste and is a betrayal of the millions of their customers who want the supermarket to do the right thing in favor of a vocal minority", Zoe Deans, a campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said in a statement Wednesday.

The reusable bags were initially only supposed to be free for one week.

Single-use lightweight plastic bags are banned in most states and territories in Australia, with the exception of New South Wales and Victoria.

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When Coles originally announced its ban on single-use plastic bags it said it would provide its reusable and thicker Better Bags for free until July 8 to help customers adjust.

A sign, seen in a Coles supermarket, advises its customers of its plastic bag free in Sydney on July 2, 2018.

Now, I'm not advocating violence but what I would advocate is stop being a bunch of compliant saps and when somebody does something stupid, which this unquestionably is, go "it isn't good enough and I'm not going to stop with you until you change your policy".

Environmental lobby group Greenpeace said Coles' decision was bad for the planet.

He began, 'Coles made a decision to ban the bags, and the customers didn't like it, so they brought them back'.

"Removing the price means that these reusable bags are far more likely to be used once and discarded", Black said. "(It) would change people's behavior over time", he wrote on Twitter.

"We now renew our call to Gladys Berejiklian and the State Government to enforce a ban of single-use plastic bags immediately. None", Steve said while calling her statistics "incorrect".

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