In Just 3 Months Australia Cut Its Plastic Bag Usage by 80 Percent

Kudos to Australia.

According to Australia’s National Retail Association, the country has managed to successfully cut its plastic bag usage by a stunning 80 percent in just three months.

This means that a staggering 1.5 billion single-use plastic bags have been eliminated as supermarkets in Australia implemented self-imposed bans in July, according to the National Retail Association (NRA).

This smart move has helped keep our environment cleaner as it the country has prevented as many as 1.5 billion bags from entering the environment.

The no-plastic-bag-movement was led by two of the largest supermarket chains in Australia, Coles, and Woolworths.

MabelAmber / Pixabay“The decision by certain retailers to no longer offer free single-use plastic carry bags certainly received a hostile response from some shoppers initially, but these retailers deserve credit for dramatically reducing the number of bags in circulation,” NRA Manager of Industry Policy David Stout said.

All of this was managed by introducing reusable options at a small cost to the consumer. Instead of plastic bags, users are offered an environmental-friendly reusable bag for just 15 cents.

“The NRA has calculated that 1.5 billion bags have been saved since July 1 when Queensland banned the single-use plastic carry bag. The bulk of shoppers now use their own bags, which has been instrumental in reducing the number of plastic bags being consumed. Indeed, some retailers are reporting reduction rates as high as 90 percent.”

“Retailers deserve an enormous amount of kudos for leading the way on one of the most significant changes to consumer behavior in generation and we also applaud shoppers for embracing this environmental initiative.”

The decision to cut the usage of plastic bags didn’t come easy, and that’s expected given our decade-long dependancy on plastic bags.

And while retailers who enforced the no-plastic-bag policy came under fire by some shoppers, eventually the feedback was extremely positive.

“The major supermarkets have also diverted the profits from the sales of alternative bags to the community sector, with groups such as Landcare, Clean Up Australia, Little Athletics Australia, SecondBite and Guide Dog being the beneficiaries.”

According to EarthDay, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka as well as Thailand are among the top-producing plastic waste countries that contaminate our oceans.

China produces as much as 8.8 Million tons of plastic waste each year.

Second-placed Indonesia produces nearly three times less, with 3.2 million tons a year.

“Nation-wide retailers have led the way and as a result also assisted smaller businesses in providing a template on how to manage the transition to a plastic bag-free retail environment. As a result, we are seeing similar changes made across the food, homeware and service categories.”

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