Pulling the Woolies over our e

Image: Twitter/DalinOliver

Pulling the Woolies over our eyes? We unpack the great shopping bag debate

‘We all have that one Woolies bag at home, filled with Woolies bags that’s filled with Woolies bags filled with Woolies bags.’

Pulling the Woolies over our e

Image: Twitter/DalinOliver

After Woolworths announced it would be phasing out plastic bags from its stores in a bid to go plastic-free three years ago, the premium retail giant announced that it wants to stop using non-recyclable plastic packaging for its own products, as well as plastic shopping bags, straws, and earbuds by 2022.

The Woolies bag dilemma

Woolworths has since been introducing the option for customers to purchase a reusable, recyclable shopping bag for R7 at various stores around the country. The bag is “locally made from recycled materials by a local supplier”.

 Reusable Shopping Bag
Image: woolworths.co.za

But while the bags were a good idea to stop the plastic problem, according to Good Things Guy‘s Brent Lindeque, they’ve also created another problem, “a Woolies bag problem” as shoppers seem to constantly forget these bags in their cupboard or in the boot of their car.

Lindeque says that what happens is that people just buy more bags. He suggested that the retailer buy back the bags or give people the option to donate them back to the store.

Woolworths later responded to Lindeque, saying that they are trialling a bag return initiative at one store which they hope to expand soon.

“But those returned bags will be recycled as opposed to given to other customers (which is tricky in current times),” they said further.

Shoppers react

While it seems the intention of Woolworths in introducing the bag is a good one, some social media users have taken to Twitter to bemoan buying a bag at the till when they forget to bring their own, reports Cape Talk Radio.


Others suggest that it will get better.

A case of discpline

“I have about 50 in the boot of my car,” said Pippa Henderson. “I now just load the groceries back into my trolley after paying and then pack the groceries into bags in the boot of my car. In Europe no one forgets their bags, it’s a way of life. Just hold on Woolies, over time no one will forget.”

“I haven’t bought a fabric bag in over eight months, I never forget my shopping bags… it’s a case of discipline,” said Feminist Icons.