The launch of a new reusable shopping bag that will support the next generation of environmental champions and the phase out of plastic straws from sale are among a number of sustainability initiatives customers shopping at Woolworths Forster and Tuncurry will start to see soon.
This follows an announcement by Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci on the eve of World Environment Day at an industry sustainability event hosted by the company.
With the removal of single-use plastic shopping bags from June 20, Woolworths Forster and Tuncurry are changing their popular green, reusable bags available for customers to purchase in store to a Bag for Good.
“Our Bag for Good costs 99 cents, and when it gets damaged, we will replace it for free, no matter when you bought it from us,” Woolworths Forster, Taree and Tuncurry group manager, Craig Feuz said.
“We’ll then recycle your old bag via the REDCycle program.”
But the ‘good’ doesn’t stop there.
Any money made from the sale of the Woolworths Bag for Good™ will fund the Junior Landcare grants program, encouraging young Australians to play an active role in ensuring the sustainable future of their environment.
Landcare Australia CEO, Dr Shane Norrish said: “The Woolworths Junior Landcare program will help younger Australians to be more aware of environmental issues in their own backyard.
“They will have the opportunity to have hands-on environmental education in the class and in the schoolyard, which will only help to better future generations.
“We look forward to seeing applications from schools in the local area when the next grant round is launched in a couple of months’ time.”
Plastic straws also will no longer be available for sale at Woolworths Forster and Tuncurry by the end of this year.
“It has been well documented that plastic straws do significant harm to marine wildlife and this move will help reduce the impact of plastics on the marine environment,” Mr Feuz said.
“Across Australia and New Zealand this move will see us remove 134 million straws from circulation each year.”
Woolworths will also continue its ongoing program of plastic reduction in fruit and vegetables, which has seen the removal of 140 tonnes of plastic in the last year in Australia.
A further 80 produce items are earmarked for plastic reduction trials in the next 12 months.
Planet Ark CEO Paul Klymenko said: “Woolworths' is taking big strides in the right direction and the butterfly effect of these initiatives on the community and environment is powerful.
“Cutting down on single use plastic waste such as straws is so important - businesses getting behind this is key but as an individual, you can also make a difference by switching to reusable or recyclable options.”