Woolies is converting its blac

Image: Supplied

Woolies is converting its black shopping bags into shipping pallets

Woolworths will proceed to collect the R7 reusable bags in certain stores after creating what people call ‘a Woolies bag problem’.

Woolies is converting its blac

Image: Supplied

After Woolworths announced it would be phasing out plastic bags from its stores in a bid to go plastic-free in 2018, 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.

Woolies black bags | New intiatives

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”.

But, since then customers complained that this has simply created a “Woolies bag problem” as shoppers forget these bags at home and subsequently end up purchasing more until they have a house full of it.

According to Business Insider South Africa, to fix the problem, the retailer has introduced collection points at its Hout Bay and Constantia Village stores where customers can drop off their bags. 

“We started the trial in May and the idea behind that was… to say bring your bags back if you don’t need them. We started working with a [company] to see how these bags can be reused and transformed into something else. The partner that we are working with has managed to turn the bags into shipping pallets,” said Woolworths Group Head of Sustainability Feroz Koor in a CapeTalk interview.

Woolies will proceed to collect the bags in stores after customers drop them off and then take them to the distribution centre. The retailer’s partner process the amount of bags needed and then converts them into black shipping pallets.

The retailer will then acquire the shipping palates for its delivery needs.

Feroz Koor, Woolworths Group Head of Sustainability said that if they can collect sufficient bags and this process works, they can acquire the shipping pallets and use them in their system when they deliver products to their stores.

“We’re closing the loop by taking the bag and turning it into something else.”

Other Woolies stores will hopefully follow suit soon.