Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm Markets have all made a commitment to stop offering customers single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018.

Both Woolworths and Coles say they will stop offering the bags within the next 12-months, whist Harris Farm Markets will remove the bags from its stores by 1 January 2018.

Woolworths’ plastic bag ban will apply to the entire Woolworths Group network including Woolworths supermarkets, convenience stores and Big W. Its Dan Murphy’s and Cellarmasters alcohol stores are already plastic bag free.

Brad Banducci, Chief Executive Officer of the Woolworths Group, said Woolworths felt it needed to take a stance on this issue.

“We currently give out more than 3.2 billion lightweight plastic bags a year and hence can play a significant role in reducing overall plastic bag usage,” Banducci said.

“Whilst we know this is a major decision, we will work very closely with all of our store teams to ensure the transition for our customers is as simple as possible,” he said.

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