Paying for shopping bags

Hi, is it just me? I really don’t like being charged for reusable shopping bags by Coles when every week I return them to the wonderful people who deliver my groceries. I know it’s only 15c but how do I recoup this over the years that it’s been charged? Do others think I’m being stingy?

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Online groceries must be good business since all the grocers are pushing it hard but you raise a good point. But as a practical matter can Coles reuse them? There are matters of hygiene and basic cleanliness from the odd broken or leaky package so all they could do is recycle them or send them to the tip.

Consumers who get groceries delivered pay a delivery fee; many businesses add various surcharges from card fees to holiday surcharges and shortly fuel surcharges. I’ll vote paying for bags every week has to be considered as part of the ‘service’. I can foresee the day they try to add a line item fee for ‘picking the stock’.

An alternative to giving them back seems to be going to the shop yourself every few months and reusing your own bags at Coles or wherever.

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From a Woolies email today it appears they charge $1 per delivery order for bags regardless of number. Coles might be economical in comparison depending on how they pack the bags and how many per order. At more than 7 bags Woolies ‘wins’. This of course assumes the bags are essentially ‘equal’ in other respects and packed similarly.

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From this article it appears the bags aren’t reused, but become single use bags which are recycled when returned…

I am not sure whether it is a good environmental outcome. Thick multiuse plastic bags becoming single use bags when used for online shopping.

Maybe the supermarkets should explore use of reusable crates, small ones like those used for fruit, vegetables or milk…where customers pay a deposit for each crate which is refunded when they are returned. The deposit could be equal to the replacement cost of the crate.

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I’ve had my groceries arrive in previously used bags (being clearly old and dirty)… from both Coles and Woolworths. They make profit each way and we continue to pay for it. As soon as I feel safe enough I will be going back to shopping with my own bags.

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It isn’t. As in my previous post I want to say regardless of policy I have had grubby bags. However if they usually recycle them… what’s the difference between that, and recycling the older flimsier bags which we were not charged for. It’s all a bit sus, methinks.

At least Coles takes theirs back. Woolies isn’t, and has not been since the beginning of the pandemic. I have a veritable mountain of woolies bags which I know I can take to a Woolworths store which I won’t ever get to, or wait for them to revise policy. In the meantime I try for paper bags from them. Same cost, but at least they are recycleable in my own yellow bin. Lately though, its been ordinary plastic bags, slightly heavier duty but no branding. Just white bags.

My fruit and veg vendor which I should use more often, uses all kinds of boxes to deliver in, they don’t charge for them, and they take them back when they deliver the next load. All of which reminds me I need to put in a small order :slight_smile:

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Should Coles and Woolies go back to the paper bags supermarkets used in the 1960’s and early 70’s. At least they could go in the recycling bin alongside the weeks newspapers. We found many alternate uses in the interim. One included a surrogate for a suitcase when us kids when away for a night or two. One brown paper bag each with cloths for the stay, towel folded on the top. Handy when needing to make use of every corner of the small boot of the Austin.

P.S.
There are collapsible crates (do not need to be plastic) that would be a useful durable washable alternative. Why not leave them folded flat for pick up by the next delivery?

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in our high rise with garbage chute, these are the trash bags of choice for occupiers.
at least they don’t burst easily when they hit the compactor…

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Now in my area, Woolies has run out of both paper and plastic, so they are supplying their branded green bags which are normally 99c each but still only charging $1, regardless of the number used. but i really don’t need more shopping bags :frowning:

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I don’t really have a problem with it and have shopped at Coles and Woolworths.To me you can pick up many specials which at times some you can miss doing a normal shopping visit but also not forgetting on-line specials only so it works out fine no skin off my nose

I can that’s a great idea as long as they are sturdy enough and are recycled.
Back to my post Coles do charge and do reuse these bags. Some that my shopping arrives in should have been thrown out way before they made it to my front door. Plus I always hand back my bags and yet I am always charged for more.

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Hi everyone who responded to my post. I still haven’t come to terms with paying for these bags when they are recycled. Last week one was so recycled it was falling apart. I noticed that Woolworths are now going back to old fashioned paper bags. Maybe I’ll change my provider.

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Woolworths has announced the phasing out of thicker ‘reusable’ plastic grocery bags from its supermarkets and Big W stores nation wide.

Coles and other supermarkets are yet to make similar commitments.

Woolworths cites that one reason they will no longer be sold is most consumers bring their own bags when shopping. There will be many that don’t and it is possible that these consumers may be using the thicker bags as a single use bag - this has a potentially greater impact than using single use thinner bags of yesteryear. If one’s own bags are forgotten, paper bags will be available for purchase.

We haven’t used/purchased thicker grocery bags for about 18 years. We have about 12 calico bags where the oldest are 18 years and nylon bags for the handbag/pocket/car/travelling which fold into themselves and take up little room. A quick calculation - the use of the calico bags has saved at least 6000 single use plastic bags. Not bad from cotton bags which have lasted a long time and should last a lot longer.

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I also take my own washable bags wherever I shop.
I approve of plastic bags not being available any more at the supermarkets,
but I’m surprised at the alternative: paper bags? Paper bags cause deforestation, use more water, produce more greenhouse gases than plastic. Are heavy but not very strong, not easy to carry, not water proof.
Not a very sustainable alternative, IMO…

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Cost of shopping unfortunately - especially if you are getting stuff delivered. I have Woolworths unlimited delivery subscription so bags are free :slight_smile:

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Why don’t they use tough bags like ones i have purchased jute amd encourage less plastic waste. One day plastic will be banned or removed causing so much pollution. Maybe everyone needs to change

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I agree that plastic will eventually be banned and I love your idea but for those of us who have their groceries delivered paper bags or cardboard boxes would make a lot of sense.

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