Coles and Woolies Phasing Out Plastic Bags - So Do We Now BUY Rubbish Bags?

I am all for the environment, and I wish science has an answer (e.g. degradable plastic bags). Personally I use ALL my plastic bags from Coles and Woolies as garbage bags at home, and I assume a lot of people do this. Now they are phasing it out, I may have to BUY the bags, so my overall "plastic footprint" is probably unchanged.

So, is this simply a cost cutting stunt? Or a feel good exercise? Can we change the environment? Or, can we start putting rubbish in the bin without a bag? Would city councils accept that? What about apartments?

EDIT: I stuffed up the poll, should be:

I've always used colesworth bags as garbage bags and will start buying commercial garbage bags
I've always used colesworth bags as garbage bags but will NOT buy commercial garbage bags
I don't use colesworth bags as garbage bags and always buy commercial garbage bags anyway
I never use garbage bags
I am garbage

Poll Options

  • 703
    I've always used colesworth bags as garbage bags and will have to start buying commercial garbage ba
  • 11
    plastic footprint unchanged.
  • 41
    I've always used colesworth bags as garbage bags but will NOT buy commercial garbage bags because I
  • 111
    I don't use colesworth bags as garbage bags and always buy commercial garbage bags anyway - plastic
  • 8
    I never use garbage bags.
  • 59
    I am garbage.

Comments

  • +40

    Not uncommon for businesses to use "environmental concerns" as a form of cost cutting measure. It is a 2 in 1. Reduce expense and look good on the corporate responsibility part in the financial statement. If you dont mind the cost and care for the environment, you can always buy biodegradable rubbish bags for the bins.

    • +11

      Hotel towels come to mind… more than happy to re-use them, but have only encountered 1 hotel (in Japan) that was willing to give out a voucher when you re-use the towels to reimburse customers $$ they save…

      • +8

        Which chain of hotel is that? More than happy to use them for my next trip to Japan

        • +8

          The Shinagawa Prince gives you a 500yen voucher if you skip room service for a day. I used it to visit their aquarium and also at the shops in the hotel.

        • +1

          @ozscharfschutze:
          Tokyo Prince Hotel does this too. It's at hamamatsucho station near the old tokyo tower.

      • +1

        Recently stayed overseas for business, Marriott offered reward points, think Westin offered as well but wasn't as clearly advertised.

      • +12

        90% of hotels the I've been to with the "hang towels if you're ok to re-use" sign just give me new towels daily anyway…

        • +18

          Years ago working at a big important bank everyone was given two bins, one for rubbish and one for recyclables.

          Lots of work went into informing us about how important it was to blah blah blah blah if you've ever worked corporate you know the drill.

          Of course the cleaners came around and dumped both into the same bag anyway.

          Current big important bank doesn't let us have our own bins though, not so much as we can't be trusted to sort our own garbage (before the cleaners mix it back up) but it cuts down on the work for the cleaners (so they finish faster) as they only need to empty the kitchen ones.

        • +1

          @D C: same thing happens in Westfield.

        • +9

          @D C:

          Of course the cleaners came around and dumped both into the same bag anyway.

          lol same at my workplace

          those cleaners, probably working for $5 an hour as a sub-sub-contractor, just simply don't give a sh!t

        • +1

          @D C: that's be CBA, luvd how we had cardboard bins under our desks for the recycables.!!!! :) :)

        • @sachz: Step right up and claim your prize!

          For the last gig I had there we didn't have any bins, but I think that was because our project was a bit, how you say, special, so we were isolated from everyone else (you probably know who) so they probably just hadn't gotten around to giving us some.

          Mind you I was there for about 6 months before I realised we didn't have any telephones on our desks either, so my powers of observation aren't the best at times.

        • @D C: were you there whilst they still had the free fruit baskets each week? :)

        • @sachz: Ah yes, the Monday stampede to collect your free banana.

          I'd forgotten about that. (In my defence it's been a while!)

      • -4

        Bikies.

    • +6

      I don't think that's the motivation. Bags costs f all in the scheme of things (yes, even when multiplied millions of times). Coles and Woolies are only doing this under pressure from environmentalist lobbying (not that this is a bad thing). They have resisted this move for years because they believed it would inconvenience shoppers into buying less.

    • +15

      In terms of entertainment ozbargain shits all over netflix.

    • +1

      Get all the food delivered online, problem solved.

      • +4

        That doesn't solve the rubbish bin problem being asked here.

        • -3

          At least it dramatically reduces the problem meaning krill oil and other sea faring items will stabilize.

        • +7

          @lookatthesizeofthat: I'm imagining krill oil capsules swimming happily in the ocean

        • +1

          @rememberme: and getting trapped in plastic bags

    • It's a shame - when Sa introduced banned plastic bags for supermarkets , I remember that target provided a biodegradable shopping bag instead - not sure if this was phased out ?

      • +4

        biodegrade bags may "degrade" to the point where it's polymers are broken away by micro organisms, however, it's not always the case. Some bags to break away but never to the degree where micro organisms can break it, which ended up in soils, oceans, and food we eat.

        So which is worse? non-degradable or cheap so-called bio-degradable?

        • This is what they should be putting more research into, decent biodegradable bags. Bit like when CFCs in air conditioning was found to have a bad effect on ozone, they didn't ban air conditioning, they found an alternative.

    • well the simple solutions would be they are forced to donate any cost of bags purchased to an environmental fund. at least if they cut costs for no bags supplied they shouldn't like hell receive any 10 cent a bag for those that are forced to pay it.

  • +2

    Agree plastic footprint will be the same. Maybe they should use recycled paper like in the 70's (I think US still do that). Or the bio plastic as suggested about. I am sure the real garbage bags are worse for the environment as they are thicker.

    • +4

      I was under the impression that the bags they use are at least semi-degradable now cause they are so thin… agree, the dedicated garbage bags are so much thicker. I just don't like the fact that they are clearly cost saving and yet not willing to man up and say it. Using environment as an excuse and not providing customers with biodegradable bags is a bit dodgy.

      • +12

        Degradable & biogradable are two different things, degradable just means it breaks into little pieces (not good as it tuns out) while biodegradable decomposes as it's organic.

        Well, that's the theory.

        You can make biodegradable plastic out of corn starch, like the PLA 3D printers often use, but it'll only decompose under certain conditions - in a compost heap, basically. It won't break down in landfill as there's no oxygen, no bacteria etc.

        Woolies (and probably Coles) use good old fashioned made from oil plastic bags, probably because they're cheaper than the alternative.

        Setting plastic on fire is a good way to tell what sort of plastic something is made from, they all burn in distinctive ways.

        Edit: so I was wondering how long my 3D prints would last; and apparently we now have degradable, biodegradable (PLA etc), and compostable plastic bags now. So both biodegradable & compostable are made from corn (or other plant) starch, the difference is biodegradable has non-organic additives (metals etc) while compostable doesn't. Ok then.

    • +9

      I reckon it will be less. If I don't bring my own bags, I always end up with more plastic bags at home than I know what to do with. They always use more bags than are reasonably necessary to pack your shopping. Plus being Ozbargainers you know that if you gotta pay 10c for a bag, you sure as hell gonna make sure they pack that bag to the top!!

    • +9

      Agree plastic footprint will be the same.

      Thankfully we can look at other states that have already implemented bans and see this is not the case - plastic bags in landfill are significantly down in ACT http://www.abc.net.au/news/specials/curious-canberra/2017-04...

    • +6

      Dunno, but the ones that Woolworths use in SA and NT (where the small plastic bags have been banned for a while) and the ones that Aldi uses all over the world are:
      * Fully recyclable
      * Much bigger, so you need less of them
      * Much more sturdy, so you can re-use them many time.

  • +1

    I remembered reading somewhere that you can use paper to line the bin and just empty bins into the wheelie bin.

    • +8

      I'm imagining someone trying to line those big council bins with newspaper and falling in head first haha.

      • +11

        That's sort of how it used to be done in the olden days, you'd peel your vegies, wrap the waste up in a sheet of newspaper (not the Page 3 girl of course) and toss it in the bin.

        Geez, we don't even have newspapers these days.

        (What do people line bird cages with?)
        (There's always those free local ones that spend a couple of months on your lawn before you eventually bin them, I suppose.)

        • +5

          (What do people line bird cages with?)

          Non-glossy catalogues like Bunnings, Chem Warehouse etc.

        • Ah, page 3, the good old days back in London.

        • +1

          @lookatthesizeofthat: those free papers they hand you in London are literally the worst papers in the world. The sun is utter garbage

        • +6

          Have to start using old mobile phones and tablets we have laying. No newspaper here either.

        • @USB-V:

          catalogues like Bunnings, Chem Warehouse

          Don't even get those any more where I'm currently living. Salmat & PMP have forsaken us.

        • +1

          @D C:

          Get a couple of the free gig guides or whatever? They're not long for this world either.

          Thank Steve Jobs. May his eternal iPod playlist be Michael Bolton and Kenny G.

        • @USB-V: Now that is too cruel!

        • +2

          @PJC: Yeah, you can't blame Steve Jobs for killing off live music, not in Australia anyway.

          Poker machines (followed by NIMBY's) did that, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

        • @D C: not so much live music. I meant the tablet/smartphone killing trad papers.

        • @USB-V:

          I meant the tablet/smartphone killing trad papers

          Oh right. Well, thanks to pokies there's less to write about anyway.

    • +1

      OK, so that's allowed… I was under the impression that rubbish needs to be in bag before being placed in a wheelie bin. I think in apartments you can't just throw pieces of unbagged rubbish down the chute

      • I think in apartments you can't just throw pieces of unbagged rubbish down the chute

        Yes, the rubbish should be bagged properly before throwing it down the chute.

    • +2

      You can but not a good idea. When the bins are emptied loose bits fly out.

    • Easier said than done, I for one read the news on news.com.au; the closes I can get to lining my bin with paper is lining my bin with iPads, which, unfortunately, I'm not quite rich enough to do.

      I suppose I CAN line it with junk mail, but that means I have to pull down the "No Junkmail" sign…

      • +1

        I have never bagged my rubbish that goes into the big outside bin, and I have never had stuff on the road. Maybe Canberra just does things better?

        You absolutely do not need to line anything. Maybe you will need to wash your bins slightly more often

        • how often do you wash out your wheelie bin? do you have kids?

        • @sclyde2:

          wash - well, I have a compost heap so I guess my rubbish may be less 'gross' than other people. So the vast majority of my rubbish is plastic (wrapping and food bags and other non recyclables), so its mostly 'dry' mixed in with some leftovers and bits of meat offcuts etc. So I dont have to wash it out very often, probably once or twice a year really. Smells perfectly fine

          Yes, have two kids.

        • @dtc:

          i suppose the compost heap would make a difference.

          where did the sh#tty nappies go?

  • +1

    They tried pulling similar stunts at target charging 10cents a bag , a few years later they became free again because the general public weren't having it - shop with your wallet

    When woolies bans them , just go to coles 100% of the time if enough people do it- coles will see an increase in profits and woolies a loss - they will probably both just introduce free biodegrade ones in the future

    • +15

      I think coles is doing the same thing too..

    • +8

      Colesworth will do it the same day. It's arranged

    • +11

      Did you even read the first word in the title?

      • Will they do it the same day / time ?

  • +7

    cant handle people not caring for the environment ay. SHould be called north korea bargain.

    • +18

      This is a forum on a bargain site. Go join a hippie forum.

    • +1

      Actually edwardsajl, as someone who has visited the dprk ( north korea ) they are very environmentally sensitive country. Don't believe everything you read in the paper :)

      • +2

        They've not exactly had the chance to become the consumer society that tends to lead to the kind of behaviour we see here. Even 30 years ago, we'd have been more environmentally sensitive. Not because it was the "right thing to do"; it's just the way it was done, e.g. wrapping peelings as per above.

    • What does north korea have to do with this?

  • +3

    "Will someone please think of the children?"

    • +4

      Kinky bastard :)

    • +11

      Stupid sexy Flanders.

  • +17

    it always amazed me that they don't have a bin full of cardboard boxes for people to use at checkouts. possibly a fire hazard but it can't be any more flammable than anything else in the store. i remember my local iga store used to have a pile of cardboard fruit boxes for people to take.

    • +13

      Aldi, Costco and Bunnings have boxes available so probably more a floor space issue considering the number of shoppers to Coles and Woollies

      • Fewer places are providing their old boxes. Aldi in WA don't (at least in any of the stores I've been in). Bunnings always have them, but they're generally silly little display boxes that won't hold anything more than a few bottles/brushes/etc. Floor space is definitely a factor, as is appearance - it can make the place look untidy, not an impression that fits well with the marketing aspect of the business.

    • I go down to Apollo Bay (town on the Great Ocean Road) in VIC every year with mates and we normally get our groceries from the Foodworks on one of the side streets. At the corner of the store there's a whole heap of boxes in which we put our groceries in. At the checkout we just chucked everything back in the trolley and then before leaving the store we could put everything in the boxes. It worked well, but as always there'll be people putting this in the "too hard" basket (pardon the pun).

    • +7

      30 years ago Franklins had that setup. It was chaos watching people cram on to packing tables to unload a trolley in to boxes, then places boxed goods back in to the trolley.

    • +5

      Most supermarket items don't get shipped in proper boxes anymore - they arrive at the shop packed on cardboard trays wrapped in plastic so shelf stackers don't need to handle each item indiviually, they just slide the tray onto the shelf.

  • +6

    We use plastic bags from bread and large chip packets, I also imagine we would still get bags from online shopping.

    • +1

      I heard someone say something similar. And if you go down the path of composting/worm farm/chickens (which we have slowly been getting used to over the past year or two) you generally don't have any waste other than plastic/foil/packaging.. and as I've been told, you don't need a plastic bag to put plastic into. Our rubbish bin is down to one, sometimes two colesworth bags a week. Family of 3 (with a 4yo kid that still wears pull-ups to bed). When they stop giving out free plastic bags, we'll just stop using "bin liners" all together and just use packaging of other products.

      • And you can use redcycle to reduce even further :)

  • +12

    I generally don't carry anything with me when I'm out and about and I'm surely not going to carry a reusable bag just in case I go shopping.

    That means every time I go shopping, I'm going to have to buy a "reuseable" plastic bag (that's much thicker than the existing bag) that I'll never actually "reuse" for shopping.

    The only thing I plastic bags after I get home is to line my bins.

    There's talk of using paper bags and newspaper to line bins. It's not the most practical thing to use - imagine trying to carry something wet in a few sheets of newspaper. We'd all be wasting lot of water rinsing out the bins more often too.

    And then I bet that once everyone starts using up all the paper, the environmentalists will jump up and down accusing us of killing all the trees for paper.

    There's always going to be some sort of wastage and we can't win by banning everything. Just a little common sense from everyone on minimising wastage will go a long way.

    • +2

      Not an Aldi shopper then?

      I wonder if Aldi sell rubbish bags, like everyone else I use the ColesWorth bags for my rubbish.

      • -1

        Honestly speaking, I've never actually walked into an Aldi store before. Is that a bad thing? Haha
        There's a woolies in my apartment block and i just shop for myself, so I can't imagine the savings being that much from specifically going to Aldi.

        • +36

          So the supermarket is literally in the same building as your apartment but you can't entertain the thought of grabbing a bag from inside before shopping?

        • +1

          @donga100:

          That is correct. As you might imagine, I shop for myself once or twice a week in small quantities. The amount of bags I end up with is perfect as bin liners right now. About 4 or 5 each week.

          It'll be stupid of me to go upstairs, get a reuseable bag and then separately have to buy a roll of plastic bags just for the bins.

        • +6

          @bobbified: It seems you might need to start remembering in the future.

          Aldi is well known for never having free bags so you being you own (and pack them as well).

          I shop the same way you do, and the answer to your conundrum is a backpack. Easier to carry than the plastic bags as well.

          (yes at ColesWorth I get the bags that then go in the backpack and get reused later)

        • +3

          @D C:

          the answer to your conundrum is a backpack

          that's not a bad idea - I dress like a bum most days and a backpack doesn't help me when I'm in shops. I feel eyeballs on me all the time which I can't really blame them for! haha

          I think realistically, I'm going to still end up going empty-handed and pay 10 cents or whatever for the new thicker bags.

          Just looking at the cheapest roll of garbage bags at Woolies, it's $2 for a roll of 20 - which works out to be 10c each anyway.
          (https://www.woolworths.com.au/Shop/ProductDetails/94671/homebrand-garbage-bags#!)

          When the bag-ban actually does eventually come in, I have this strange feeling that the rolls of garbage bags will magically increase in price.

        • +2

          @bobbified:

          When the bag-ban actually does eventually come in, I have this strange feeling that the rolls of garbage bags will magically increase in price.

          Don't be so cynical.

          Increased demand leads to increased production and thus economies of scale results in a reduced price.

          The magic of capitalism and the tender touch of the invisible hand will take good care of you, like it always has and always will.

        • +7

          @D C:

          Increased demand leads to increased production and thus economies of scale results in a reduced price.

          Reduced costs are true in that situation, but no company is going to voluntarily pass down those savings. Especially when they realise that customers have less alternative options. Prices are more likely to be set based on what a customers are willing to pay rather than what the actual manufacturing costs are.

        • +3

          @bobbified: I do believe you missed the tone of my post.

        • +2

          @D C:

          haha! you're right - I re-read your post and realised! lol.

          It's not always easy to read properly at work with my fingers on Alt+Tab!

        • +3

          I can't imagine the savings being that much from specifically going to Aldi.

          You're on ozbargain mate!!!!

        • @D C:

          You're forgetting one thing.

          This is reducing alternatives given that shoppers are now more than likely just ended up buying the plastic bags (or liners).

          I think it will increase in price of liners.

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