Coles has reversed its decision to stop providing free single-use plastic bags to shoppers.
The supermarket giant had been handing out the bags to customers in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia since July 1 to help them adjust to a new regime of reusable bags as part of the retailer's ban on single-use bags.
However a spokeswoman for the retailer says Coles will continue to provide the single-use bags for free because many customers are "still finding themselves short a bag or two".
Woolworths and Coles last July joined a push to rid Australia of disposable plastic bags and set a deadline of June 30, 2018 for their stores to stop offering them to shoppers.
Woolies, which has provided more than 3.2 billion plastic bags a year to shoppers, later brought forward that deadline to June 20.
Green groups welcomed the bans being introduced by the supermarket giants.
Similar bans in Britain and Ireland have helped reduce plastic bag usage by up to 85 per cent.
Woolworths and Coles have also recently announced plans to slash the amount of plastic wrapping on fresh fruit and vegetables in response to demand from shoppers.
Australian Associated Press
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