Coles will no longer offer soft-plastic shopping bags countrywide.

May 10, 2023

Coles will discontinue the sale of soft-plastic shopping bags countrywide by the end of June.


The supermarket chain Coles has reaffirmed its dedication to reducing the amount of needless plastic packaging at the checkout counter by announcing that it will stop selling soft-plastic shopping bags in-store and online by the end of the next month.

The remaining stock of soft-plastic bags will be depleted over the next several weeks before Coles stops selling all types of soft-plastic bags by the end of June. This change will result in the elimination of 230 million plastic bags from circulation over the course of one year1.

According to Matt Swindells, the Chief Operations and Sustainability Officer for Coles Group, the decision to cease the sale of soft-plastic bags across the country, both in-store and online, was a significant step in the direction of the grocery chain’s goals to improve its environmental performance.

“Our commitment to reducing the amount of plastic that is used in our stores and online was demonstrated today by our decision to no longer distribute soft-plastic bags at the checkout. Because to this beneficial development, 230 million plastic bags will be removed from circulation within one year, as stated by Matt.

“Bringing your own reusable bag to the grocery store is the most environmentally responsible thing you can do,” he added. “However, for those customers who forget to bring their own bags, we will continue to sell 100% recycled paper bags that can be recycled at the curbside, in addition to other reusable options.”

We have put the paper bags made from 100% recycled paper through their paces and found that they are capable of holding up to 6 kilogrammes of merchandise in each bag. That includes everything you need to prepare spaghetti Bolognese or a roast for the whole family,” added Matt.

Following the decision made by Coles in 2018 to abolish single-use plastic carry bags at checkouts, the company has made this news. As a result of that decision, about 14,000 metric tonnes less plastic is generated annually.

The paper bags made from 100% recycled materials can be purchased in-store for a quarter each and recycled at the curbside collection point. Customers also have the option of purchasing reusable tote bags, which range in price from $1.00 to $2.50 for the large size, as well as chiller bags, which can be purchased individually for $2.50. Starting the next week, paper bags will be utilised for home delivery and Click & Collect items, even though customers will still have the option to not receive a bag with their purchase.

Additionally, reusable fresh produce bags made from ninety percent recycled material are already sold at all of the nation’s Coles stores. Plastic bags that include fifty percent recycled plastic are still sold in the fresh produce department, with the exception of the ACT, which has switched to selling compostable bags produced from plant-based corn starch rather than the recycled plastic bags.

When placing an order through the Click & Collect service, consumers in select states are being given the opportunity to use their own reusable boxes as part of a new programme that Coles is testing out under the name Swap-a-box. The goal of this programme is to cut down on the amount of bags that are used throughout the company.