Australian supermarket chain Coles has been causing a stir in Australia, backflipping on promises to go plastic bag free in its supermarkets. The chain initially made pledges to remove single-use plastic bags from its stores in early July. Following extensive backlash from the public, the supermarket chain answered consumers complaints by opting to give its thicker reusable Better Bags, which usually retail for 15c AUD, away for free until August one, to allow customers to transition to bringing reusable bags along with them. Still facing a backlash from customers, the retail giant then extended the free giveaway indefinitely until threats of boycotting from eco-warriors forced the supermarket to announce that a charge would be added to the Better Bags on August 29.
It is also rumoured that the thicker plastic bags were made free of charge to help get customers through checkouts faster while Coles held their Little Shop toy promotion. Both Coles and Woolworths announced plans to reduce plastic use in early June of this year.