Woolworths Under Fire for Excessive Plastic Use

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KnowESG_Woolworths Under Fire for Excessive Plastic Use
Image courtesy of Reddit

Woolworths is increasingly feeling the heat as frustrated shoppers voice their concerns about the excessive use of plastic in packaging fresh produce.

This comes when the supermarket chain is charging customers for "environmentally-friendly" bags, ostensibly to reduce waste.

While many Australians initially welcomed the steps taken by major supermarkets to minimise plastic in their day-to-day operations, including the discontinuation of reusable plastic bags, there's a growing chorus of voices highlighting what they perceive as a significant contradiction in the retailers' actions.

A recent viral photo exemplifies this dilemma, featuring plastic-wrapped packs of apples and a sign proclaiming "Great for reducing waste."

Shared on Reddit by a customer, it sparked outrage over excessive plastic usage. The customer expressed shock at the packaging, questioning the need to wrap items like kids' packs of apples or mandarins, asserting that parents are fully capable of selecting produce without such waste. This incident underscores concerns regarding Woolworths' sustainability practices.

This issue is part of a larger pattern of complaints against the retailer regarding the use of plastic in the packaging of fruits and vegetables. Many argue that these items could easily be left loose or bundled in recycled paper, especially in light of stores now charging for produce bags.

Shoppers find it ironic that a sign meant to highlight the supermarket's "odd-looking" produce section inadvertently underscores their concerns about plastic usage.

While some shoppers are quick to blame Woolworths, others argue that consumers also play a role in this issue. They contend that by abstaining from prepackaged items and choosing loose produce, shoppers can contribute to reducing unnecessary plastic consumption. In some cases, prepackaging serves as a tactic to sell a predetermined quantity of produce instead of allowing customers to select individual items.

Earlier this year, Woolworths initiated the phasing out of reusable plastic bags in Australia's most populous states, culminating in their nationwide discontinuation. Recently, select Woolworths stores in Western Australia introduced a trial wherein shoppers who forget to bring their own bags are charged $1.50 for produce bags. This trial aims to prepare the supermarket for the next phase of the state's stringent new plastic laws, set to take effect next year.

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Source: Yahoo News Australia

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